Showing posts with label pride. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pride. Show all posts

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hardened Heart: If I can’t be happy, NO ONE can!

          For those of you interested in the “Once Upon a Time” series and have NOT watched the April 1st episode in which we learn why Regina is such a witch, you may want to watch it before continuing to read this post as I’m about to reveal a spoiler.

          Flashback to a scene where a horse rider and stable boy are embracing and she expresses her love to him.  But it is a forbidden love – one that her mother just wouldn’t understand.

          I was actually trying to figure out what fairytale it was – and why the female character looked so familiar.  (I didn’t realize it was Lana Parrilla until she said the name of her character;  I hadn’t recognized her as that character because she was nice – likeable – not the character she became – the one we love to hate)

          As she is expressing her love to the stable boy (Daniel) a horse can be seen charging with a girl rider who is screaming for help.  Regina saves her.  She introduces herself to the girl and learns that the girl’s name is Snow White.

          The king tells Regina that Snow White is his daughter and has no mother.  He has been looking for someone and tells Regina he has found her.  He wishes to marry Regina.
          Regina’s mother, played by Barbara Hershey, is overjoyed.  She believes “power” is what brings happiness and accepts his proposal on behalf of Regina.  Regina is devastated.  She doesn’t love the king.  Why would her mother speak for her.  She loved Daniel.

          Regina looks for Daniel in the stables and tells him she wants them to run away and get married.  As they are kissing, Snow White enters the stable and feels like Regina has betrayed her father.  But Regina explains to Snow that she does not love her father and she would like to marry the stable boy.

          She explains to Snow what true love is.  She explains a bit about the relationship she has with her mother.  And begs Snow to keep her secret.

          But Regina’s mom tricks Snow into revealing Regina’s secret.  She goes into the stable to announce to Regina and Daniel that she supports their love and would like to see them be happy – and then she kills Daniel.  She stabs him right in front of Regina. Regina is mortified.

          Seeing Regina in her white bridal gown, Snow compliments her on her appearance and makes a comment in favor of Daniel.  Puzzled, Regina explains that she is NOT marrying Daniel but is wearing the dress for the king.  She seems in a sad daze until Snow mentions that she doesn’t understand as Barbara Hershey’s character said she would be happy to welcome Daniel into the family.

          It is at that moment that Regina realizes that Snow has betrayed her secret.  Snow says she didn’t want Regina to lose her mother and be without, for Snow understood the importance of having a mother.  It is in that moment Regina transforms into a cold unfeeling serpent – even worse than her mother.  She is no longer the kind, feeling person who had expressed love to the stable boy.  She is a bitter witch who seeks vengeance on everybody.  Not just Snow.  Everybody.  Emotions deeper than hate have buried her heart.  It looks as though she may never feel again.

          And though the characters of Snow White and Regina aren’t real people, the emotions are real.  Being consumed by bitterness is real.  We all know people who fit the mold.  And it is sad to watch them and even give up hope that they can ever shed their slithery skin.

          Yul Brynner played Rameses in 1956 movie “The Ten Commandments”.  For me he started out evil.  There was no love.  No positive emotion. I never saw that character as anything but heartless.  But in 1998, Dreamworks released the animated version “Prince of Egypt” portraying Ramses in a different light.  He and Moses were friends.  They had had fun together.  And Rameses threw away all those emotions based on pride.  It hurt to watch him change from a human being into a unfeeling or uncaring ruler.  A serpent who would feast upon rats – and all mankind became his rats.

          I just don’t understand these people who experience this traumatic turmoil so consumed with bitterness that they want to ruin the lives of every other living human being.  And for what?  After a while they seem like they are so consumed up in evil that they forget what got them there in the first place.  Is there any way for any of us to get that spark back for them? Or are there hearts so hardened that there is no turning back?  Not ever.

          I would rather help these people than be afraid of them, or even feel sorry for them.  Not that I personally know anybody who is that heartless.  But I know they exist. 
          I guess it depends on their priorities.  Unfortunately, for some of those that are in power, the focus is on making others miserable.  That is the part that I don’t understand.  Why do they feel that is satisfying?  They are still as miserable as they were when the bitterness set in.  How do we get rid of the darkness that consumes them?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Harriet Oleson: Overcoming Pride

Katherine MacGregor played Harriet Oleson on Michael Landon’s “Little House on the Prarie” No character in all of Walnut Grove was as prideful and full of herself as much as Harriet Oleson – though daughter Nellie came close and was replaced by an even nastier Nancy, who may have succeeded in presenting herself as more superior than even Harriet (who had actually softened up somewhat in later episodes)

Unfortunately all of us know “Harriet Olesons” We go to Church with them.  We listen to their snideful comments about those they refer to as “sinners” and watch them attempt to put themselves on a pedestal by putting others down.  It seems the harder they try to discriminate and sway others to believe the same way as they do – the less desireable they are at passing off themselves. 

Why is it that Harriet Oleson believes she is so superior to every single person?  Does she also feel that she is more superior to God, himself? Because there is no way that prideful of a person would ever recognize the Savior if He were standing in front of her. In a literal sense, I mean.  For it is quite obvious that the Mrs. Olsen’s of this world have missed the boat figuratively.

How can someone who is so feared and obviously NOT respected by others believe that she’s so great?  Greatness is measured by the admiration and the respect from others – not by blowing one’s own horn. And certainly not by putting others down and stepping over them in a vain attempt to reach an unachievable goal.

I used to be a Harriet Oleson.  (At least I hope it’s in the past). I know I’m not perfect – but I don’t think I’m so high and mighty that I can’t benefit from my interaction with others.  I know that I have been a snob in the past.  Gosh, I hope I’ve improved.  Still far from being humble, but at least I’ve learned acceptance.  At least I know now how to defend.

The theme in our last stake (geographical boundary) conference was on love and service.  To love and serve ALL people regardless of their mental state, appearance, background and so forth.  We are all people.  We are all children of our Heavenly Father. It’s high time we shed our “Harriet Oleson” personalities.  But then they are a part of ALL people and may need love even more than the ones that they try to discriminate.  And that is a tough challenge – loving the prideful.  The ones we don’t believe will ever change.

I think the thing that is most mind boggling to me is how in the world did she end up with somebody like Nels in the first place?  And what made him stay with her for all those years?