One of my favorite childhood movies was Annie. I remember seeing it with my dad in the theater and also having the record (yes, a record) of the soundtrack. I loved it. I memorized every song and many of the dance moves associated with the tunes. One of my favorite songs was: “It’s a Hard Knock Life”. The thought that these poor little orphan girls were forced to clean most of the day and had no pretty clothes and no home was so sad to me but the idea of how they banded together to help each other progress was inspiring. Of course Daddy Warbucks is delighted by Annie and adopts her and it ends beautifully, but only after a lot of conflict. We all love a good rags-to-riches story.
You and I were discussing that a good plot always has to have a lot of conflict to keep us interested. If we were watching a movie about a person that was just happy and had a fun life we would wonder where the bad guy was or when the aliens were coming to invade. We would get no real pleasure out of watching a person just live a happy life free of trial. I would like to submit that our lives are the same. Without conflict not only would we be bored silly, we would not grow. If we could read or tie our shoes on the first try there wouldn’t be the excitement when we finally learned how to do it. We will make mistakes. A lot of them. Learning to get past failure and move on is difficult. Sometimes fear gets in the way. I love this quote from Lucy Maud Montgomery from Anne of Green Gables:
“Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.”
Life is going to contain conflict and choices and because it does we are going to make mistakes. But tomorrow is fresh, with no mistakes in it and if we keep going we are going to learn and learn and learn and become more than we could have imagined. Maya Angelou said this:
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
We are all at various stages of crisis and learning. To judge one another would be unfair and futile. Helping one another and loving one another through life is a great gift that we can all give. It truly is a hard-knock life sometimes. But as we keep making mistakes and learning and growing and becoming better and better, I have to say that I think it all seems worth it.
Happy Friday!! I’d like to add that the original film version of Annie holds a special place in my heart as well; it riveted me upon release, and though it’s not a title I’ve revisited later in-life, I too had that gatefold record, and played it incessantly. I even had a red wind-breaker I received on my seventh birthday that I called my “Annie jacket” (I’ll not make defenses here about my masculinity, but will rely instead upon my Rambo posts someday to make up for it 🙂 ).
What you say about conflict is so salient, and something everyone needs to be mindful of. As many Zen teachers already know, we must be thankful for conflict the same as we’re thankful for the blessings that come our way, for the latter really holds no meaning without contrast. Abraham-Hicks speaks often about contrast and it’s importance in our life: It’s not that we should cultivate conflict, but we should indeed recognise its place and not allow it to change our overall higher-vibration. So long as we can continue to “bounce-back” from adversity, we’ll be on the up-and-up pathway to being more enlightened.
Both quotes you provided are perfectly-representational of how our mindset should be. The Anne of Green Gables one speaks of optimism about the future, and the Maya Angelou quote is a reminder that we’re all currently doing the best we can do; I love what it intimates about the Japanese expression of kaizen, which is “continual improvement”. What else can we strive for than that?
Exactly! (I am still laughing a bit about your red “Annie” jacket.) I spent many hours watching Anne of Green Gables with my grandma and am thankful for how much I learned from it and I still hold those times in my heart. There is inspiration all around us if we choose to see it. Continual improvement really is the crux of life. Surrounding ourselves with positive people and those we love makes the journey all the more bearable. =) Have a great weekend everyone and listen to the radio show this Sunday! There will be more information and a link then.