Have Courage and Be Kind - Lessons from Disney's Cinderella

Saturday marked my 31st birthday and my wonderfully tolerant husband agreed to take me to see Cinderella at a local movie theatre.  I had heard good things about the movie and was excited to see the costuming, the scenery, and a new twist on an old favorite.  What I didn't expect was to walk out of the movie theatre with some takeaway life lessons.

"Have courage. . ." - Cinderella relies on her courage to endure the tragedies she faces and the mean spiritedness she endures from her stepmother and stepsisters.  She reminds us that acts of courage don't have to be found only in the extraordinary, but can be found in littlest of things.  Sometimes courage can be going out on a limb and trying something new or maybe standing up for what you believe in.  The chance to be courageous is available to us each day.  

". . .and be kind" - Such a simple statement, but one that bears repeating.  It's Cinderella's kindness that opens doors of opportunity to her and her kind heart that wins the Prince.  Even in the face of horrific treatment by others, Cinderella shows nothing but kindness.  Too often today it seems that we as a society are quick to judge and tear down one another rather than lend a helping hand and a friendly smile.  Perhaps with a little kindness, we can each find our own magic happening in our lives too.

Your prince will love you for who you are - When Prince Charming finds Cinderella at the end of the movie, she is back to being a simple country girl serving her stepmother and stepsisters in her home.  She is dressed in rags, her hair is mess, and she is certainly not the perfect princess from the ball.  But a funny thing happens.  When she asks him if he will take and accept her for who she is, now, in that moment, he says yes.  Now that's true love.  When you find the person who will love you in sweatpants, when you're sick, or when you just can't seem to lose that baby weight post pregnancy - that's when you know you found a winner.  Sure, it's fun to dress up once in a while, but don't try to change who you are to find love.

Part of the beauty of Disney movies is their ability to transcend the generations.  Whether introducing a child to the story of Cinderella for the first time or seeing it for yourself for the 100th time, everyone can take something away from this timeless classic.

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