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Over Spring Break, I took my daughter to see everybody’s favorite Princess on the big screen. As a writer, I appreciated the backstory to explain why the Prince would invite all the girls to the ball in the first place. As a mother, Ella’s mother’s last words for her to “have courage and be kind” resonated. As a daughter, I found myself thinking about my own dad as Ella says goodbye to her father. And as a hopeless romantic, I was caught up in the story with the handsome hero and that positively gorgeous gown as they danced around the ballroom!
But I’ve also seen some predictable backlash online about women’s rights, domestic servitude, and needing a “prince” to ride to the rescue. Whatever happened to the simple idea of a fictional fairy tale for the purpose of entertainment? However, since this rendition of the familiar story had a powerful theme woven throughout, I felt inspired to offer a few reflections.
1. Cinderella was not a sniveling, whining, helpless weakling doomed to be a virtual slave in her own home. She was simply a girl caught in circumstances beyond her control. Not to mention, she could have left and worked somewhere else except that she made the decision to remain there because she had promised her father she would look after the place in memory of her mother.
2. Her mother’s words to “have courage and be kind” were lived out daily. It takes extreme courage and strength to exhibit grace under pressure and class under stress. Like Joseph from the Bible, she shone in her corner and we can trust that she would continue to exhibit those same character qualities once Queen.
3. Did she need a Prince to save her? No, but the Prince’s love was part of the reward package as she reaped the benefits of kindness sown to others. She deserved to be loved for who she was inside. Not to mention, without trials, we often don’t fully appreciate the victories.
4. In an attempt to avoid the spoiler for those who haven’t seen the movie, let me just say that Cinderella’s last words to her step-mother are the epitome of her character. Wow.
So, what can I learn from a Princess movie? It takes courage to be kind when others don’t deserve it. It takes strength to serve. And good deeds eventually get rewarded in the best possible ways.
What about you? Have you seen the new Cinderella movie? How do courage and kindness go hand in hand? Have you seen others rewarded for their kindness?