We are lucky enough to be having some totally gorgeous weather in Bournemouth this week, so today I am blogging from a picnic mat in my garden while soaking up some sun and imagining I’m in Florida!
So yesterday I went to see Cinderella in the cinema again, and second time round I was still blown away by the beauty of it, not just visually but also the messages it conveys.
“Have courage and be kind”
For so few words, this quote has so much power. You may not think that courage and kindness are really all that linked, but in life I think that kindness can sometimes take a whole lot of courage; sometimes we just don’t want to always be kind, sometimes we think we’ll feel better by belittling people whether it be in words or just in our own minds, but does that really makes us a good person, even if we temporarily feel better for it?
No, it doesn’t. Kindness is selfless, and unfortunately that is why so many people choose to ignore their kind urges, because they don’t believe it will serve any purpose to themselves, but that is where many are wrong. Kindness is not innate, we must learn how to be kind and in doing so we must discover our own way to enjoy it, whether it be that warm fuzzy feeling you get from helping another living being, or just appreciating a simple thank you.
“They treat me as best they can”
We cannot expect kindness from those we do not treat in the say way. Although Cinderella isn’t treated right by her new step-family, she can appreciate that that is simply the only way they know how to act, and does not restrict her kindness to them, as she hopes that through her kindness they may learn it too. How simple would it have been to tell Kit that she was not treated well? Perhaps she thought about saying that. But in her heart Cinderella is grateful that she is not treated worse, as she knows she could be. She has lost so much that she has learnt to appreciate what she still has, which is a purpose to keep on going.
“But kindness, kindness makes it everything”
And the Fairy Godmother was right: kindness improves everything. Its like service vs. service with a smile, there isn’t anything we do that cannot be improved with the addition of kindness. I don’t imagine anyone has ever said ‘the only thing that could have improved that would be if they hadn’t been as nice’, and if they have then I feel sorry for that person, who cannot appreciate the act of kindness that they were lucky enough to have received. Kindness is a gift we all must learn to appreciate from others, and be generous enough to share with those around us.
“Will you take me as I am?”
Acceptance of others; it is a thing that in this world I cannot imagine why it is so difficult, yet is is a thing that occurs so frequently that we believe it to be normal. In order to accept others, we must allow ourselves to see them as they truly are, see past whatever assumptions and negativity we want to put upon them and understand why they are who they are. To give someone your understanding is a great kindness, and you may find that they are kind enough to give you theirs in return. And if they don’t, you must try to understand why they cannot, and learn that this is not a reason to withhold kindness from them, as it may be that it is something they do not understand.
“I forgive you”
The power of these three little worlds is astonishing, for without forgiveness the world would be a very different place, and if more people believed in the act of forgiveness then it would also be much changed, but for the better. If Cinderella can forgive her step-mother for her poor treatment and even imprisonment, then why is it so difficult for those of us who suffer so very little to forgive those who wrong us in such minor ways. What does forgiveness cost us?
Nothing. And those who do not expect forgiveness will be more changed for knowing it; being forgiven for wrongs we have committed shows true courage and kindness from our victims, which we in turn must learn to have and appreciate.
“The fairest and kindest”
We must all endeavour to be described as such. We must compete with ourselves to constantly become a better person than who we were before, always improving with time, and learning to show kindness and forgiveness to not only those around us, but also to ourselves. If we cannot be kind and understanding of ourselves, the person we truly know best, then how can we know how it feels to do the same for others. We must look at ourselves in the mirror and see the person we are, and where we have come from to be where we stand today. We must always be the best versions of ourselves, but know that everyone is capable of mistakes, and therefore we must forgive ourselves for them.
So will you make the pledge with me: to have great courage and learn true kindness? From here on out I promise to always try to find the courage for kindness, to understand and forgive others who cannot, and accept them for who they are. I promise to try to make everything better by adding kindness, and always strive to be the fairest and kindest person I can be, and forgive myself when I struggle to be so.
Are you with me?