Have Courage and Be Kind: A Cinderella Blog Series

Have courage and be kind.Seems easy enough, right?Wrong.Two of the most difficult things we consistently attempt in life are to “have courage and be kind.”This past weekend we finally went to see the newest Cinderella in theaters to celebrate my youngest daughter, Shelby’s fourth birthday. We waited for what seemed like an eternity to see this film. Promised to hold the day special for our tiny princess we had bit our nails to the nubs in anticipation as friends upon friends sent messages waiting with baited breath for us to see this movie.“Cari, you and your girls will just die you’ll love it so much!”“CARI! Please tell me you’ve seen the new Cinderella movie!?!!?”“Cinderella is life changing! Call me as soon as you see it!”“Just watched Cinderella!! We must discuss! Have you seen it yet?!”“SO much spiritual connections to our lives as daughters of God. Cari, you will ADORE it!!”Those were just a handful of the messages I was blasted with. So our expectations were high and intense. We had probably watched the Disney Trailer for the movie on YouTube three thousand times. True story.Let me just tell you, the movie did not disappoint! In every glorious way I adored it! The film exceeded every expectation and climbed mountain tops I didn’t anticipate soaring our souls to heights of the most glorious, adventurous Love. Numerous times I wanted to stand to my feet in applause. I easily could have just remained in my leather chair back for the 9:20pm showing and watched the whole thing over again.In response I have decided to write a blog series this week to discuss a handful of powerful statements I scribbled in the dark during the movie that are still marinating in my soul.“Have Courage and Be Kind”The theme of the movie. The line that drew us in droves to see the film in the first place. A flip on every script this world gives us. Seems easy enough though, right? Nope. Have you truly attempted to have courage and be kind in circumstances that are less than ideal? It is sometimes excruciating. I have a lustful desire to take claim of “my rights” and making that choice to courageously serve and love through acts of consistent kindness when faced with such demanding odds, all of which are opposed to who I truly feel I am called to be?!.....Uhm, rough to say the least. Yet, here we see a character that consistently shows us with dignity and grace the look of marching valiantly through her days with courage and kindness.Because they go hand in hand you know….In order to showcase true kindness one must explify authentic courage, often times denying their own comforts in order to present a whole and pleasing picture of real loving-kindness. Genuine kindness emboldened with courage embraces who you are and loves you anyway. Unquestionable kindness serves beyond the reactions or reception. Courageous kindness sees beyond oneself to love outside itself. To showcase that kind of love requires operating to a level that exceeds our instinctive human nature. I know I can hardly make it in and out of the Tom Thumb on Tuesday afternoon without wanting to punt a fair amount of individuals through the bakery glass. Can we be that real in this space?However, I watch Cinderella and memorize every detail because my desire is that in the toil of ash I spend the majority of my days I want to emerge from the embers to that flush of beautiful. Caring, sympathetic, generous, compassionate, humane, benevolent…..Courageously kind.It’s mesmerizing because she showcases kindness courageously when it isn’t easy. That’s why she is a fairytale. Not because she finds Prince Charming. She’s a superhero to all of us because she amplifies supernatural qualities the equivilant of lifting a car with your own two hands and might. With so much wicked harshness thrown in her face she negotiates a kindness beyond her circumstances. There is dignity and incredible finesse to walking out our days, even the tough ones that threaten the very core of our existence, with courageous kindness.Finding true authentic kindness is so rare. The world is harsh enough already. Be the rare gem of courage and kindness in someone’s world.Ernest Hemingway said it best I think, “Courage is grace under pressure.”How have you seen someone showcase true courage and kindness?