I talk a lot about choice and I write about it too. And lately I’ve been watching a show called “Ever After High.” I don’t usually watch shows about teenagers going to some special high school. But I ended up really liking the plot. The main point is this: Can you choose your destiny or are you born into a lifestyle that you can’t control? And I feel like that’s a question that is so relevant right now. What I mean is, we don’t think about it, but the authority figures in our countries tell us a lot of things about our future. Scientists have told us that hang-ups and mental conditions are handed down to us from our parents, which is partly true. But does that mean we can just blame our parents… or worse, what if we want to be different, but we can’t be.
That’s the idea that has scared me. I have an alcoholic grandfather on one side, an uncle in prison, and my dad was once on drugs and into a ton of bad stuff. He’s not anymore, since becoming a dedicated Christian, but if I listen to science, my chances of being a drug abuser went up. Anger issues run in my family, bitterness, insecurities, and I could just accept that all that falls to me…but should I? Is it true that I have no choice? Perhaps I may never pick up a bottle of alcohol but if I ever do, do I have to be addicted? Do I have to try drugs when I feel empty inside? Do I have to be angry? Do I have to end up in jail? I bet everyone is thinking “No! How ridiculous.” At least I hope you’re thinking that. What about the smaller and more subtle ideas? Like do I have to think I’m ugly or unlovable. Do I have to complain? Or eat too much? Do I have to live in fear? Big things or little things, the thinking creeps in. And we make excuses.
It can be difficult to take responsibility because it means work. You may have to actually think and not let the media ad Hollywood think for you. Are we just cruising through life or are we here for a reason? I’ll give a few examples from the show, see if you can find yourself in them:
Briar Beauty: This girl is the daughter of sleeping beauty. She is resigned to the fact that she’ll have to sleep away 100 years of her life, which is almost the same as dying because she’ll miss out on all the people she lives around now. Briar wants to party it up (in her own words) because she wants to enjoy what little time she has, but as the time to seal her fate approaches she doesn’t feel like she’s really been fulfilling her time. Parties are fun, but her friends are what she’s really going to miss.
Ashlyn Ella: She’s the one who finds herself in a Romeo and Juliet situation. I don’t have much to say about it, except that she does have to consider the price of following her heart, which is often downplayed in movies as not really being much of a price, but for her it is. Is the good everyone else agrees on always the one you should go with?
Dexter Charming: Ever feel like you were born the odd one out in a family? That’s Dexter. He isn’t common hero material. And he is so blinded by the expectations of the world that he can’t see that being a hero is really the matter of your heart and there he has what it takes.
Duchess Swan: What if your only reason to exist was to carry on someone else’s story? And not only that, but you knew for sure that story didn’t have a happy ending. If someone told you that you had to work this job to keep your family alive, but you would end up poor and homeless on the streets, you might not be too happy. It might be noble to do it, but isn’t that a waste of your life? does it matter? Aren’t our families the most important thing in the world, who better to sacrifice for.
Apple White: There are those who like society’s role for them. The lucky few who have the body to be on a magazine and the personality to make everyone feel important, and maybe that’s not bad. But is true heroism all in running things smoothly and making people feel important? Or is it in actually believing other people are more important than yourself? Apple will be on your side as long as it fits with her plan of what is the best good for everyone, but dare to suggest that another option might be better and you will find her as close minded and stubborn as a mule.
Raven Queen: This is my personal favorite character. Raven Queen does not have all the answers, and she may end up having to live a life which she hates the idea of. But is that gong to stop her from being the best friend she can be now? No. Raven’s attitude is that if she only has a little time to live the way she wants, then she’ll spend that time being the best person she can be. Pursuing her creative interests and helping her friends and fellow students. Raven is also not going to blindly accept that a life of repetition is all she can have.
Which is the most noble way to go? Everyone wants to have a good life. Not everyone is willing to have it. Most people will choose Briar’s path of having the best time they can have because they have so little they can’t waste it in doing boring things, a serve me type of thinking. Or they will fall into Dexter’s rut of thinking they don’t have the skills to make it so why try? Then there’s the smaller group of people who will decide to break the rules, but only as far as it suits them and makes them comfortable. There’s also a group of people who will sacrifice their lives to help those closest to them, but they themselves end up unhappy and alone, and the people they sacrificed for don’t really respect them. In the much smaller privileged world of celebrities; those talented individuals whom people like, they make their mark, but rarely do they pay any price to do good things and somehow all their goodness reflects back on them, which is no different than if a person went around telling people “I’m awesome” 60 times a day. (Enough said.) Then there are the very few people in this world who are committed to doing what’s right no matter the cost. They are the ones who face the tough questions and find answers and aren’t afraid to get help. They don’t need to be in the spotlight all the time, but neither do they reject it if they can use it to do more good. These people don’t do just what they feel like doing, they do what they think they should do.
Newsflash: Each of these ways of life is a choice. No one forces you to accept them because no one can. They only way anyone can make you be anything is if you let them. I’m not a drug addict, or a person who is always angry over something, I don’t gorge myself on food, and I don’t live in fear. It’s not because I’ve never been given the message that I should; believe me, I have; but it’s because I finally realized that the message was a lie. I am a bit sorry that this article ended up being so long, but I hope it was worth the read. I meant every word. But there’s one more component to this that I haven’t covered and I will in my next post. Keep reading!