Recently I reprised my role as the Fairy Godmother for the Beta Princess Party. Someone asked me if I enjoyed doing this and I answered with, “I love the kids.” The truth behind that statement is that I am scared to death of tripping, nervous about the crowd, and afraid of failing. Over the years, I have found most of us struggle with those types of feelings in different situations. The key is getting in a frame of mind to take the next step and the next step or sometimes just throwing yourself into action.
Last week, Olivia and I watched the live-action remake of Cinderella to get in the princess mindset. In the movie, Cinderella’s mother tells her to ” Have Courage and Be Kind” and this phrase is repeated several times throughout the movie. What a powerful bit of advice and this advice helps Cinderella take on a great deal of loss, many trials, and a great deal of undeserved meanness. The phrase “Have Courage and Be Kind” sets Cinderella apart and yet puts her on a path of peace and happiness. She uses those words from her mother yo love and forgive in situations that would be hard for anyone to swallow.
Courage is the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. To have the courage of one’s convictions, to act in accordance with one’s beliefs, especially in spite of criticism.
Kindness by definition “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.”
Living a life of courage and kindness requires diligence, prayer, and a lot of faith. People can be cruel and so much of the time we are in such a hurry that we misunderstand each other. Not seeing past the immediate situation and looking into the heart of the other person can lead to so much bitterness and hurt feelings. The characteristics of kindness helps you love and appreciate others even when they don’t act or appear the way we would prefer. Let’s face it, we all have probably acted in a way we would not prefer at some point or another in our life and I don’t know about you but I definitely appreciated kindness when it was given. Courage helps us do what we should when it is uncomfortable and maybe a little scary. It allows us to walk in truth and the path God has called us upon.
Having kindness and courage does not mean living a life in which you are being misused or continue in a situation that is not healthy for you. At times, the act of kindness that requires much courage is one for yourself. You decide that enough is enough, forgive them for what they are doing, wish blessings upon them but walk away.
At the end of Cinderella, we see that her step-mother is acting out of her own bitterness and anger. Life did not turn out the way she had planned which is why she acts out in a way that is malicious and vindictive. While this doesn’t excuse her actions, it does show how bitterness can twist your heart and make you into something ugly. For the step-mother, Cinderella is a reminder to her of who she wanted to be but because she cannot get past the past she cannot love her or be a mother to her. This wall of protection the step-mother has created protects her heart, but it also keeps her from realizing that Cinderella would have loved her and enriched her life had she opened the door.
When the prince shows up and all the deception is revealed, Cinderella looks at her step-mother and contemplated what to do. She then remembers her mother’s words “Have Courage and Be Kind.” Cinderella calls the mother out on the pain she has caused in the kindest way possible, then tells her that she forgives her for everything, and tells her she does not wish to see her anymore. Some may question the kindness in her walking away but that kindness was for herself.
Now back to my fairy godmother adventure, I had a great time and I loved seeing all the kids dressed up and excited. I threw myself out there and bippidy-boppidy-boo’d all over the place! At the end of the night, as I took off my wings and my sparkling shoes I thought of Cinderella and her mother. I pray that when it is all said and done that my daughter remembers the lesson and advice “ Have Courage and Be Kind “ – and some happily ever after.