Monday, January 16, 2012

Lessons Learned from a Classic Tale

Earlier this month my cute little granddaughter, Kaylie, had her 5th birthday party. She loves Disney princesses, and since Beauty and the Beast was being re-released in the theaters, Tiffany planned a darling princess party for her and 7 of her friends. She invited me and a few other adults too. I was excited to see the movie again and especially see these cute little girls all dressed up like their favorite princess.

We headed to the Saturday afternoon showing of the movie. They were so excited and I have to admit I was too. Sitting in the theatre with those little girls took me back to the moment when Tiffany saw the movie for the first time. I don't remember how old she was...a little older than Kaylie, I think. I do remember how she use to love to dance around the house singing the songs from the movie, pretending she could "sing like Belle".

Watching the movie again, all these years later, I had a whole different perspective. I thought about the Beast or "prince" as he was before-how he chose to turn away someone in need and because of his "unkindness" he was turned into an ugly Beast and his life was one of despair, anger, and frustration. His only hope for happiness and peace was to "feel" what love really is.

Then there was Belle-she selflessly offered to take the place of her father after the Beast had taken him prisoner. She loved her father and was willing to do whatever she could to save his life.

And then there was Gaston-the "handsome" one on the outside, but very arrogant, prideful, and selfish on the inside.

The movie took on a whole new meaning for me. Every moment we spend being selfish, unkind, prideful, angry, can at first be covered by "good looks" on the outside, however, eventually those emotions surface and can cause us to look "ugly" on the outside. Belle was able to help the Beast see that love and kindness are what brings us happiness and peace and it was through small and simple moments. She was kind to him-even when he "roared " at her, and her kindness and love paid off. As it says in the song...they were barely even friends...then somebody bends...unexpectedly.

I became teary eyed as I listened to the song at the end. It's the Beauty and the Beast theme song. For when somebody chooses to recognize the moments that need to recognize they just might be "bend unexpectedly"...that's when love, kindness, and friendship can blossom fully ( like the rose in the movie) and the "beauty" comes to the surface again.

Beauty and the Beast...a tale as old as time.... kindness, love, forgiveness are all as old as time...and priceless moments.

Here are the words to the song:
"Beauty And The Beast"

Tale as old as time
True as it can be
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends

Just a little change
Small, to say the least
Both a little scared
Neither one prepared
Beauty and the Beast

Ever just the same
Ever a surprise
Ever as before
Ever just as sure
As the sun will rise

Tale as old as time
Tune as old as song
Bittersweet and strange
Finding you can change
Learning you were wrong

Certain as the sun
Rising in the east
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the beast.


  1. As I read the post, I remembered how Beast was cursed because he had been heartless and didn't care about other people. As Belle was patient and self-sacrificing the Beasts heart began to be empathetic and he allowed himself to care about someone other than himself. In other words Belle was continually mistreated by the Beast until he finally changed.

    If the Beast had never changed, Belle would have suffered for the rest of her life if she had stayed with him. That's not a very healthy way to live. Fortunately for Belle, Beast changed, Belle forgave him and they lived happily ever after.

    It's also interesting to note that during the time depicted in the movie, women weren't allowed to vote, own property or even go to college. They had to get married in order to survive. They literally couldn't live if they weren't married. Fortunately times have changed. Men and women now have equal rights. Atleast in Europe and The United States. That's not to say that men and women are treated equally, there are still organizations and individuals that do not treat women as equals to men, but for the most part in the West, there is gender equality.

  2. I like the post, and the comment. I think there is always the tension between knowing and understanding that people need time to change, and staying when there is no hope of change. I met my husband (#3 and last) he was in the middle of huge changes in his life. He had quit smoking about 18 months before we met. He had cut his 4- fifths a week to a couple beers a night over an 14 month period.

    He grew up with LDS friends so he understood the standards I would live by.

    When we got engaged, we made these rules/boundaries;
    1) No smoking EVER again. This is only partly a WoW issues, the allergies and asthma has more impact.
    2) no drinking alcohol when the kids ate with us, and no guests with beverages with alcohol.
    3) He was under no obligation to attend any ward or stake activity, but Scott agreed to think about an imviation/request before giving an answer.
    4) General Conference weekend means all 4 sessions and waffles.

    That about covered it for us, at least as hard and fast rules go. Six week after the rules discussion we were married, and Scott was sending out the baptism invites. When we signed the rules, I would have been happy to live with those rules. I found the areas that I could be flexible, he did that too, and we both recognized that our former lives wouldn't fit together, unless we were intentional.

    There has still been a ton of compromise. Scott not only hadn't been married before, he hasn't dated anyone seriously. At the time he proposed I had outlasted every girlfriend, and he actually wanted to see me during the week instead of just on Saturdays

    Coming back to the post,we have been married for fifteen months, and it has been almost a year since his baptism. He will become an elder at Stake Conference. Since he had LDS friends that he went to high school with, so he gets a lot of the cultural stuff. He may not have worn a white shirt since he was discharged by the military, but the Sunday after he was baptized, and everyone forgot he was a new member.

    If I had decided to make a judgment at our first date, where he has several mixed drinks (I was driving) and told me about his ups and downs with his family, the crazy ex who stole a credit card, and he stared longingly at a group of guys smoking with wishful eyes.

    Instead, what I saw was a man who was insecure, and sometimes overcompensated because he hadn't figured out who he was. When I asked him what he did for work, he told me the functions, but not the vision or arc of his career or what he wanted to do. What I also saw was a man who listened closely to what I said, who was okay with being intelligent, without worrying about, or trying to prove that he is superior. He was polite, holding my hand, opening doors. Telling me he loves my shirt and that he hadn't realized I have green eyes.

    At that first date, we missed some steps, like our parents, because they were so deeper painful. But we could both be honest enough to save, that I'd traumatic. I am sure we are going to talk about it at the right time, but not yet. Putting aside the patriarchal problems, which unfortunately was a reality at the time.

    Sorry for the ramble. I think that most people do make snap decisions based on physical experiences and expectation. Someone might look at my life, and tell everyone that I am the only problem, and everyone should steer clear. I think one of my sisters in particular would think that I am several steps worse than the beast. Whoever I am, and whoever my husband is, has nothing to do with who we are, individually and together. Personally I get frustrated with all the Gaston's in the world.