I remember as a child, my favorite princess was Snow White. This was before the Disney Renaissance of the late 1980s and early 1990s, so we were living with the original three. And it was not until more recent years that I began to understand how much it affected my outlook on life.
When Snow White came across a serious challenge or obstacle, frankly when her entire world collapsed to bits, her response was to sing With a Smile and a Song. (Seriously, watching the movie a few years ago, a major chunk of my life began to make so much more sense – face palm.) She chose to believe that everything would turn out alright if she just pretended it would. Not really the best mantra. In fact, the more recent children’s movie, Trolls, did an excellent song of their own, Get Back Up Again, where we find out that it’s not quite that simple for our princess heroes.
Real life hits hard. It pulls no punches. As Chinua Achebe and W.B. Yeats wrote, things fall apart. Monsters, of one sort or another, do lurk in the wings. Sometimes we end up below the floor, unsure where to turn next.
The interesting part that a lot of people don’t catch is that most of those childhood heroes we all look to for inspiration are wise enough to ask for help. They know they can’t do this on their own. Nor do they try to. Instead, they collect a village around them to get them through whatever they are facing.
In our culture, there is way too much emphasis on doing everything on our own. Finding ways to overcome entirely by ourselves. To self-help.
But we humans, we weren’t designed that way.
We are built for community. We are meant to walk together through life. We are supposed to support each other when times get rough – even with some pearly whites and really good music on occasion.
I guess my point is this: we can’t stop the trouble from coming. What we can do is be ready to face it when it does… together.