We all see things a little differently. Wouldn’t it be boring if we didn’t!
I read a blog this morning from Head In Books. She describes the pernicious effect of music and TV on the young minds of children, who learn the words for things before they even know about the things themselves.
But she also writes about the cultural impact of Disney using Beauty And The Beast as her example…
Beauty and the Beast? I’d like it more if it was a prince who had to demonstrate how he learned to value inner beauty by marrying some hideously mutlitated crone who was rendered back to gorgeousness by his true love’s kiss.
This got me thinking about perspectives. I know Beauty And The Beast is about a girl learning that beauty is only skin deep and it’s character that truly matters, but I never really watched it that way. (or read it, of course, long before Disney got it’s glossy hands on it.)
I always saw it as a man who had been a bit of a bastard, realising the mistakes he’d made and, by caring for a girl, loving her he ultimately finds redemption in having that love returned, despite the ugliness of his past.
I think that’s a hugely positive message for boys. You can always change, you can always be better, and that it only takes the heart of one girl to change your life.
I’m much better person than I used to be. I’m not perfect, I’m still working on that, but each day there are lessons that I can apply, that help me improve. And that it doesn’t matter if I messed up before, so long as I learn those lessons and don’t mess up again.
I did a thing as a teenager that I still cringe inside when I think about. I hate that I did it. I’ll never do it again. Only once in the last 30 years has anyone mentioned it, partly because I learned (and partly because to anyone else it was trivial – no one got hurt, it wasn’t “bad”, just cringey).
It’s only from my perspective that what I did was bad. Just as I have a minority perspective on the lessons from Beauty And The Beast. That’s one of the lessons, though. We see things differently, and it’s important to know how.
But I’m a better person for the lessons of my life. Parts of the beast have been slain. Some parts of the beast remain, but they work for me now.
© Charles Rochester 2015