anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Friday, April 10, 2015

Kindness: A Ramble about a Book, a Movie and Glass Slippers.

I don't know if you all remember, but I made a fair number of goals for this year, but one of the main things that I wanted to focus on was Kindness. It seems that no matter how hard I try, this is not a virtue that I have been great at accomplishing. 
And perhaps because it is kind of my word for the year, it seems to be cropping up everywhere.

And so we come to Cinderella and Wonder.

First thing that you need to know about me, I have always wanted to be a princess. I don't remember a time when I didn't love reading fairytales about princesses (or writing them for that matter). I have cast myself as Cinderella, Belle, Rapunzel, Pocahontas (still can never spell that one right on the first try). I made my very own princess dress in high school for prom and it was no coincidence that I've had boyfriends call me princess, and ask me to date them through stories about how I was a princess and they were my knight. In fact, one of my favorite compliments of all time was when I was out dancing once and a complete stranger told me that I looked like a princess. I said thank you and told her that I had always wanted to be one. She told me to consider it done. I felt almost like my fairy godmother had decended in that moment and granted me my glass slippers (I totally intend to wear clear heels on my wedding day). 

At first I wasn't sure that I wanted to see Cinderella. I was worried that Disney was just jumping on the remake bandwagon and that they were going to ruin it.

I could not have been more wrong. 

The closer that the movie came to coming out, the more excited that I got for it. Obviously I ended up dressing up for the movie (I recommend it. Everyone deserves to feel like a princess.). 

It was beautiful. I loved it and not just because it was about a princess, but because of what the movie taught.

"Have courage and be kind"

Kindness can go a long way in the world. I think that it has a much greater effect than most people imagine. I loved the way that Cinderella kept a good attitude and never let the things that were happening beyond her control turn her into someone different than she was inside. She never let her issues keep her from being kind to others. That is something that I personally hope to be some day. 

As I mentioned this last week, one of my mantras in life has been, "Be Bold, Be Brave." But I think that having courage and being kind is something that would be better to strive for. 

I love the way that the family is portrayed in the beginning of the movie. It didn't matter that Cinderella wasn't royalty, she was royalty to her family and that's what really counts. 

I love the way that Cinderella doesn't sweep under the rug that she has problems, but she doesn't complain about them either. She stands up for those who cannot stand up for themselves and that is one of the bravest things that a person can do.

I love that the prince doesn't care that she is "common". I love that he sees her when she is common and when she is all done up, and he loves her just the same, for who she is. Yes, she's beautiful, but more importantly, her heart is beautiful. It isn't about the glass slippers and the dress, it's about the way she shines from inside. 

One of my favorite things about fairytales (and I'm well aware that this doesn't always happen in real life) is that the good people get their happy ending. I love that no matter what happens along the way, things turn out in the end. That's not to say that there are never problems ever again, but things work out.  

So in short (or long, I didn't intend to ramble this much), I loved Cinderella and I would highly recommend it.

Next, Wonder.
This is a book that I have been wanting to read for a long time. I've seen the cover of the book more times than I can count and to be honest I had no idea what the book was about when I bought it. 
It was completely different than what I expected but that didn't make it any less amazing. 
It ended up, in many ways to be about kindness as well. 

"Maybe it is a lottery, but the universe makes it all even out in the end. the universe takes care of all its birds."

This book isn't about a fairytale. It isn't about things being perfect or even things being perfect in the end. There is no "magic" in this book, but the kind that we can each supply to the world around us. Being good, and kind even when the consequences are bad.
In the end it quotes a book that I haven't read, but that I want to read now. The Little White Bird by J.M. Barrie (yup, he wrote Peter Pan. You should read that one.)

"Shall we make a new rule of life... always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary."

That hit me pretty hard. I try to be kind, but it isn't often that I try to be kinder than necessary. If all the world tried just a little harder to be kinder than necessary, then honestly, I can't think of how much better this world could be. 

So, if a movie and a book can teach us anything, let's let it teach us that kindness is important. That beauty is more than skin deep. And that things don't have to be perfect for us to find happiness or for us to have hope for the future and in humanity itself. Let's try to all be just a little kinder than is necessary, and see what happens. 

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