Can I do the Honors?

I found out last week that I made the Honors list at my college, and this week I got admitted into the program. Nice!

I never planned to try for Honors, but it started to seem like a good idea, and then I got the letter letting me know I qualified so why the heck not? But I’m still glad I don’t base my identity on grades.

College is teaching me about two things: Self Confidence and Anxiety.

It’s easy to panic when an assignment is due and you haven’t done it. I was watching this YouTuber talk about their anxiety, and they said the definition of anxiety is a feeling of inadequacy to meet life’s situations.

I suddenly understood why the doctor told me I was suffering anxiety.

True Confession, my dad has suffered anxiety consistently for years. My grandparents have suffered it (some of them) and I’m sure other people in my family have that I don’t know about.

I think folks don’t always realize that our attitude toward life and ourselves is learned. If kids hear anxious words constantly, they will have anxious thoughts, unless they are that rare biological sport who is somehow different without even trying to be.

I was anxious growing up. The person in the video described it as feeling like people were watching them constantly. While as a shy kid, I had that, I mostly worried about losing control of myself.

It’s funny, if you know me now, you’d know I don’t seem unstable or out of control. People say I’m refined. But I chose to develop that attitude.

My anxiety did not start to go away until I became a Christian, and at first it wasn’t a choice. I know I always say it is, but the first few weeks, I didn’t feel I was choosing to be at peace, it was just flowing out of me. As a new believer a lot depends on what you do right by accident. I remember I would keep chasing that peaceful feeling whenever it started to drain, I would pray, I would read the word, I would worship, all to get in God’s presence and feel close to Him.

And there was nothing better I could’ve done. I built a foundation for myself that lasted me through the time when the good feeling dies away. And now, it’s like marriage, I don’t feel good every day. But I feel happier in this the I ever would alone; and I think it’s worth it.

Over the last six months I had anxiety return a lot like it was before I was a Christian. And that bugged me. Maybe you can relate, you think you’re over something and then boom, it comes back out of nowhere. And it gave me some bad weeks..months… I am still coming out of it. But in the end, I found out my faith was stronger.

And what God showed me through that struggle was that I am stronger, because of Him, then I ever thought I was or could be.

Now I am taking a Self Defense class that’s working me harder then I’ve ever worked in my life.

I want those of you who’ve been reading my posts consistently to appreciate this: I was feeling sore and stiff all the time and having a hard time doing things, and I signed up for a class where getting sore and stiff is part of the description.

I consider this to be a flat out miracle.  It makes no sense why I would do that, and furthermore why instead of making me more anxious, it actually is helping me to learn this stuff. And it’s showing me something else I didn’t know.

I always thought I was non athletic, weak, kind of out of shape. And while to an extent that is true, I am not getting killed in this class. I’m slower then some of the more fit people, but I am not blowing it, and my endurance is more than I expected. I think the reason partly is now I push myself to do better because doing well is important to me.

Back when I played volleyball, I just wanted to have fun and be automatically good at it. And a part of me always starts out a new class hoping I’ll prove to be good at it naturally. But God in His wisdom hasn’t given me that kind of Leonardo Da Vinci genius. Which is a good thing, because I have to try. I have to work. And I enjoy doing it. I enjoy proving that I am made of something stronger than I thought.

And I enjoy getting to prove everyone who ever thought I was a wimp wrong.

But all this is not just to brag on myself. I have a point.

This doesn’t have to be my lucky experience. This can be you to. I figure, I am not the only one who underestimates herself.

It’s easy as a millennial or an even younger person, to believe that you don’t have the chops to handle life. We’ve been told so much that we have no understanding of anything, I think we all believe it.

Many of us are naive it’s true, but naivete can be fixed. here’s the thing, we need to stop whining. I hear other students all the time griping about how things are going. Never in their favor.

I get it, we want to blame someone. That would mean people were wrong about us. IT’s not our fault we can’t do life.

But the thing is, you are probably way more capable than you realize. It’s a fact. human beings are amazingly resourceful. And though we do stupid and clueless things, we learn.

Teens and twenty somethings are terrified of getting it wrong. Relax. You’re going to. But that’s okay. Age isn’t the factor here. we all get it wrong. That isn’t what counts . What counts is if you get back up and try again. Immediately. Don’t slink away in defeat.

I do plenty of dumb things when I drive. But I do a lot more things right. I know that one mistake is all it takes to sink you. That’s why we hate making mistakes. But we don’t have the luxury of letting that stop up. The daring accomplish more than the doubtful.

That being said, I am going to keep moving forward.

Until Next Time–Natasha.

A lantern in our hands.

I just read another great book titled “A lantern in her hand.” This isn’t a review of it, but I want to credit the book with inspiring this post.

The book is, as it turned out, about love. And I am a sucker for any story where love is the focus and the savior as it were. I say sucker, but I don’t believe it’s really naive to think so.

Love gets a bad rap when it comes to making it the saving grace of a story, but I would wonder what else is better?

So I have a question to put to you, viewers, what makes life worth while? I mean, what makes anything we do important?

You see the main character of the book has dreams to be an artist, a singer, a painter, and an author. She wants to put something fine into the world. As a modern woman (or man) we can all empathize. Almost all of us aspire to greatness at one point in our lives, whatever we may settle for later, and movies and popular stories have certainly helped drive it into our heads that any life that doesn’t change the world is common and ordinary.

I personally relate. I think I tend to see life as wasted when you aren’t doing something big.

The point this book made is that being a mother and a wife is a big thing.

Now, to even suggest that motherhood might be enough of an aspiration is resented by most women.

I won’t say I haven’t seen it that way myself, but I know better.

It’s not that motherhood is all a woman is good for. That’s not it. The point is that what is done in love is done well.

If someone dreams big dreams, it’s a good thing, but they have no failed in life if at the end of it, they fulfilled different dreams.

Some women dream of doing big things, and also of being mothers. Is it a failure if they fulfilled the latter, and fall short of the former.

What if it’s not wrong when a parent’s dream of the finer things is fulfilled int heir children’s lives?

It seems hard on the parents. But if there’s one thing the age of pioneers and pilgrims should have taught us it’s that one generation has to light the lamp, or the lantern, and dare to dream, even if they will never see the completion of the dream. Because sometimes one lifetime isn’t long enough for us.

Back in the Bible when folks lived to be 900 years old, they could have all lived to see their dreams fulfilled, but maybe now that our lives are shorter, we have to learn to be more content with less.

That’s not bad, I think on the contrary a shorter life leaves less time to get too comfortable in this old world. Which isn’t where we all belong.

I guess I’m rethinking my goals. I still hope to make an impact on the world, but if I end up in some corner of the globe with a small circle of friends and family to take care of and help and inspire, my life won’t be wasted. If I only get tot ell my stories to my children they are still worth telling.

Some parents, like the father in “Little Britches” and Casper Ten Boom from the writings of Corrie Ten Boom (The Hiding place; and In my Father’s House.) shine out most in when they leave behind in their children.

The Bible knew that parents are reflected in their children, not always, not every time, but often. I think today we’ve lost that.

Actually, we’re ashamed of it. We hate being like our parents because we feel it makes us less ourselves.

But the truth is, humanity is interconnected. When I went to Cambodia, I felt a common bond with the people there who couldn’t even speak English, it had nothing to do with how similar our lives or personalities were, but in that we’re all human. WE all share certain things.

In spending a few days in their lives, I expanded mine. For I became a part of theirs, and they a part of mine. I don’t mean that they influence what I do over here a whole lot, but there is a connection.

It’s hard to describe, some people have already hit upon the idea that humanity is all connected with each other, and I believe it’s true.

Even more so in families. We are a part of each other.

I believe strongly that we are all unique. But sharing our traits with others doesn’t take away from that. I resemble both my parents according to some people, but I don’t look exactly like either of them simply because I resemble both.

People are like those math problems where you have to figure out how many different way you can arrange the numbers. Only our numbers are limitless and we all have our own special part.

But what we share is, when you think about it, what enables us to love each other.

That’s why there’s so much hate now over he areas of racial tension both in America and all over the globe. It’s because the politicians are focusing on our differences. We should enjoy our differences, and I do, but inflaming them makes them more important than they really are.

Just like in any family where the parents or children puts too much emphasis on being alike or unlike each other. It’s just not important enough to fight over. (I mean of course, to ever begin to fight over. If one side is being unfair about it, I do think sometimes it has to be fought out.)

I might be white, privileged, young, and geeky, but it’s never bothered the people around me, no matter what their background is, and why should it?

To bring it back to the idea of accomplishment, I think the big things are kind of life the differences between people. Important, but not more important then things like love, wisdom, and nurturing and protecting and dreaming.

A wise man leaveth an inheritance for his children, the Bible says. And it’s no shame if in your whole life, what you accomplish benefits someone else more than you, some might even call that selfless living.

Until next time–Natasha.img_1549-4

Why lions are awesome!

Lions and tigers, and leopards, oh my!

I had to get that terrible joke out of the way.

I’ve been watching NatGeoWild a lot lately. I may not be a huge animal person, but I have my level of interest. Which has certainly been expanded by the things I’ve been watching.

The channel just had a Big Cats week, so I recorded about ten different programs, which I still haven’t finished watching.

My favorite big cats by far are the lions. Cheetahs and leopards and jaguars are cool. But lions take the grand prize.

I am no professional, but my astute observation after so much research is that lions are unpredictable.

If you have cats of your own (I have three) you probably would agree that cats are often predictable to a retain extent, but constantly do things that puzzle you. Like one of my cats likes being petted only every so often, and only on her head. But sometimes she lets you do more. There’s really no way to know.

Lions are like that times ten. Traditionally we all know them as the king of beasts, but not everyone knows that they are good mothers, protective fathers, and surprisingly affectionate pride members.

Watching the lions and lionesses with each other reminds you of watching a pair of highschoolers with innocent school level crushes, or a new married couple perhaps.

Lions date, did you know that? It’s not exactly how we do it, but when an aspiring male wants to mate with his female of choice, he has to prove himself, usually by bringing her dinner or helping with a catch.

Lions risk their lives to get food, so the lion has to be committed to this idea before he goes for it.

But lions are no easy pickups. Some swatting and growling can be involved before they agree to be mates.

I also think that those who represent lions as only bloodthirsty killers have never actually watched lions alone.

Lions are very territorial, but they still can surprise you.

9 out of 10 times, a lion will chase another lion off, or look out for number one.

But I was watching one story about three different lion prides. One of which was decidedly more fierce and merciless. These lions had some excuse to be, since they had to guard a whole herd of buffalo, whereas most prides don’t rely on just one herd for food. But there was one horrible part where they tortured one unlucky member of a rival pride to death.

It was so sad, the pride the victim was from had to surrender to save her life but in the end they got too dehydrated and had to move on, thought hey waited as long as possible. The mother of the lioness waited the longest.

I started feeling bad at this point, even though it was a lion, and it wasn’t like I knew her or anything.

But it turns out I must not have been the only one. The next day the three prides (one of which stayed out of he fight,) all stared trying to eat the same giraffe, and the merciless lions tried to take another lioness form the competition. This time the lionesses pride didn’t do anything, probably because they had surrendered and figured they were licked.

But then something even the commentator couldn’t explain happened. the other rival pride, the owners of the turf, stepped in and drove the angry lions off. Saving the lionesses life, though she was hurt. The angry pride didn’t dare mess with the actual owneres of the turf. (Kind of like a kid int he cookie jar doesn’t throw a temper tantrum.)

you have to understand, these lions had no real reason to help out. They just wanted these intruders off their land.

My personal thought was they’d seen the killing the day before, and sometimes I think lions just get tired of it. They didn’t want to settle things that way.

And that’s a really human emotion to witness from wild animals.

IT put me in mind of all those cute stories of how animals save lives. Which my sister reminded me of after I shared this story with her. Whatever you might think of cats and dogs, both creatures have been unknown to rescue both each other and humans.

Even wild animals have been known to save humans, for whatever reason. Lions included.

If you have read this far, first thank you; second, you might be wondering why I told all this. It’s not exactly my normal subject matter.

Well, hey, I have other interests. This is my blog , I can do what I want.

But also, I found these lions inspiring, in the way only animals can be. Sometimes it takes an animal to remind us of what it means to be human,

Mercy, compassion, these are the exceptions int he animal kingdom. And animals aren’t evil for that, they do have to survive in am roe basic way than we do.

But that’s exactly why we should realize that if even wild beasts can find some compassion in themselves, it must be an important part of life.

Some lionesses take care of cubs that aren’t there’s even when it’s at risk to themselves. Sometimes the males, classically portrayed as eating off what the girls hunt, actually allow struggling mothers and cubs to share with them.

Lions are a lot of things but they aren’t selfish.

And I think that’s a lesson for us.

For me, watching this was amazing for another reason, because I thought that God made lions, and God is compassionate. If even his wild creations can show mercy, then how much more his intelligent, spiritual ones?

And those are my thoughts for now. Until next time–Natasha.

Expectations (for the new Justice League.)

I’ve finally seen a trailer for the Justice League movie, and I am still skeptical at best. It’d be hard to beat the show.

The key to superheroes as a tool in the creative world, is, as my sister and I have narrowed down, to put a person in a normal human situation, magnified by super abilities and super villains and over the top circumstances.

All this makes it clearer to the audience what the stakes are, what the choice is, and what the difference between the good and the evil character is.

So what I think the new film needs is not to progress further into the dark, gritty and melodramatic world that the genre has become, but to regress into more human terms.

I have nothing against climatic events and galaxy sized stakes, but it should never be about that. Making the problem with the world the main focus of any movie risks making it too vague. What the film needs to be about is what problems humans deal with on a human level. With something like the Justice League, there’s a wide range of subjects that could be covered, that’s why it worked so well as a show. Narrowing down each member’s own personal struggles in the span of one film is a difficult and almost impossible task

But my concern is that none of them will be followed through in a satisfying way.

Many super movies (and other movies and also modern literature) end with what I call a question. Ending with a question means the narrative of the film (usually the unspoken one) does not completely side with any perspective presented in it. It may lean one way, but it refuses to admit it. Leaving you, the audience, to try to figure it out by debate.

Sometimes that is okay. But I have never liked it.

I know many people are totally fine with movies ending with a question. They think it’s more respectful and more thought provoking that it does so. They think they will discuss it more and understand better because of it.

There may be times that happens, but I have yet to see that actually be the fruit of Question Films.

What I typically see is that people will take whichever side of the argument they were already on walking into the film (or reading the book) and continue to use the piece in question to defend their point of view. They claim to be getting a better understanding of it, but all they really are doing is getting deeper into their own beliefs. The film did not challenge them by presenting any belief as wrong based on evidence or results, it just fed into the desire they had to remain perfectly secure in what they already thought.

Take Zootopia, I liked that film okay, not because I agree with its supposed portrayal of society, but because I thought the characters still exhibited real world flaws that could apply to a lot more than racism or class bigotry. Judy being guilty of the crime she hated is a thing that happens to all of us at some point, and she handled it the right way.

However, I do not think it is pushing us forward if you take it only as a class and racial  (or a have and have nots) commentary because all the people that already believe that just nodded along with the film, it presented no new information or ideas to them. The people who didn’t agree either disliked the film or got a different message from it, like me.

The fact is, Zootopia was too vague to really be an effective eye opener to anyone. There are no cold hard facts in it.

The shift in super hero movies since the Avengers and Captain America franchise started is that they go from being about personal struggles to being about world wide threats. Which is not bad exactly, but in a way it renders the drama both too real for people to want to dwell on, and not real enough. Because we know similar organizations exist or have existed, and that this is just a more dramatized version of it, making it less serious and not more.

People always complain about characters not being relatable. But I think the real reason is not the struggles of the character are less terrible, but that the characters themselves are less moral.

I could relate to any character who is struggling with the right and wrong thing to do, especially if the choice is not really obvious (and I don’t mean that it’s morally ambiguous, but that it is a difficult choice to make for them because of the circumstances,) the reason is that the moral struggle is one we all go through. We are all equal under that struggle and no one is exempt from it.

Films that confuse that struggle are not being honest with us. In real life, we almost always have at least a dim idea of what the right choice is. What would be best for us to do, what we should do, and often what we know we won’t do but wish we would. In real life, we can repent of our mistakes and actually turn away from making them before we destroy our lives.

Like the Black Panther did, frankly, that was probably my favorite moment of Age of Ultron.

In real life, villains are often afraid of heroes because heroes are stronger than them in that one dangerous way: in their heart.

It’s the Dark Side in Star Wars that must be threatened by the Light. Why does the Emperor decide to kill Luke after he refuses to be corrupted? He fears and hates him for being stronger than himself.

So, to wrap all this up, the more dark these films become the more impossible to please the fans will be. Once people start to hunger for drama and gore and unbelievable violence, it will only grow. It’s happened many times. By pandering to this wish, Hollywood is dooming itself.

And it is only by being a little less picky about our special effects, our complex characters, and our high stakes; and a little more concerned with what affect our entertainment is actually having on us, that we will learn to really enjoy it.

That’s my thought anyway. I’d forgive the new Justice League for a lot if Batman would just take a knee at some point and deeply regret his actions in the previous film(s.) (I’d forgive even more if Wonder Woman straight up tells him what he did was reprehensible and doesn’t want to join the league till she’s convinced he’s really changed.)

As unlikely as I find both those things, I hope that there’s someone on the writing team who still knows how to use the genre.

Anyway, there’s still Infinity Wars coming.

Until next time–Natasha.

The Lion King.

The Lion King. One of the best Disney films ever made. In my opinion.

 

I can’t add much to this film by reviewing it. It’s themes are clear. And everyone knows the story.

But I want to look at the ideology of it, if you will.

I have heard multiple Christians use this film as an illustration of spiritual truths. What interests me is how deliberately the film itself seems to raise that sort of impression.

No one really would argue that it supports some kind of belief in the after life.

And it seems to go out of its way to establish that Mufasa’s reappearance is not just in Simba’s head. Rafiki sees him, and also communicates with him when Simba is not there. WE also see Mufasa as the sun, as well as the stars.

I don’t think anyone would debate that Mufasa is a God-character.

If you’ve never heard that term, or never int his context, it means a character who inspires other characters in the ways we would attribute to God. Typically meaning they give them instructions, seem to know things no one else knows, and give them hope in their darkest hour.

Mufasa fits the bill on all accounts.

Yet he’s totally believable as just a lion trying to be the best king and father he can be. Ultimately laying down his life for his son in an effort to protect him.

What just about killed me was that he never found out that it was Scar who put Simba up to doing those stupid things. (I guess he did once he was up in the sky, but still, closure!)

I don’t know what Simba means, or Mufasa, but Scar’s name, notably one of the only English names in the whole thing (except for Ed) is a giveaway to his character, both his personal issues, and the issues he creates for Simba.

Scar holds a grudge for being put out of succession. He holds a grudge against Mufasa because Mufasa is so much better than him. AT first we think he’s just sour over  being a nobody, but later when Sarabi taunts him, we realize he is secretly aware of how inferior he is to Mufasa and Simba both. Which comes up again when Simba has defeated him.

Scar’s name also relates to who he emotionally scars Simba by his treacherous acts and leaves him crippled for his whole adolescent phase, without a father except for two well meaning but ignoble beasts who just want to relax their life away.

Interestingly enough, Simba’s emotional scars only fade when Scar himself does.

Scar, as the betrayer and the deceiver and the false king, who accuse Simba of his own crimes, makes a fitting devil character. And a formidable villain.

The best lines of the film are all Mufasa’s, I love his speech to Simba when he is a spirit. I also love how in that scene Mufasa becomes more fully realized the longer he is speaking, going from clouds, to a starry shape, to full on color. Symbolic.

He tells Simba “You are more than what you have become.”

It seems odd that Mufasa doesn’t tell him “I love you.” Or something like that. But not when we consider that Simba is laboring under a delusion that he killed him. When he knows, deep down, that Scar is the one to blame. Simba also has just been confronted by Nala about what he needs to do. So this kick in the rear is exactly w at he needs.

He tells Simba further “You have forgotten me.” Simba denies it. “You have forgotten who you are, and so forgotten me…You must take your place as the one true king. Remember who you are.”

Who did not share Rafikis’ sentiment after the end of that. “Wow! What was that!”

Simba returns home and kicks Scar’s tail, but not without some pitfalls along the way.

But the scenery of the last part of the film is a huge part of the story.

Under an evil ruler , the land has faded. The herds are leaving t o find food, but Scar, like the coward he is, refuses to leave.

I never understood stood this when I was younger, but now I think he was afraid of other lion challengers on the Savannah. He knew he was no match for any healthy young or middle aged lion that wanted a pride. Also that the pride wouldn’t do jack squat to help him if he was challenged. (As they will for a lion they like.)

Scar just want to stay away from any competition that will expose him. So imagine how scared he is when Simba returns.

At first everyone thinks Simba is Mufasa. A resemblance the writer didn’t pretend wasn’t there. Because it’s more potent that it is. Yet when Scar knows it’s him, he think he can manipulate him because he always has before. Otherwise he would have slunk away while he could.

In the end Scar thinks his greater numbers may give him the advantage, and then fights Simba more in desperation than in courage. Then he begs for mercy when he is defeated, Simba gives it, but Scar pulls one more nasty back stabbing trick and then falls as a result. The hyenas, having heard him throw them under the bus, decide they’ve had enough of Scar. All four of them presumably burn to death.

There’s so much biblical resemblance here, it would be hard to deny it if I wanted to.

There’s a little thing I want to explain about what follows:

Simba’s roar is both symbolic as assuming his place as king; and literal, as Male lions do roar to declare their territory. Female lion actually do roar in response to males, so if that part always felt real to you, that’s because it is.

But it is not a magic roar.

I have hard theories on this, but they are ridiculous and here’s why.

When the land goes from desolate to healthy, we see Simba and Nala have a cub. (Everything came full circle.) Lionesses are pregnant for a year. It’s been a whole year. So the land has had time to recover, and the rain had time to work.

You can say the rain was magic and I won’t argue. But the rest is nature.

So, in defiance of modern values, this movie supports living up to you responsibilities. taking someone else;s place, following in someone else’s footsteps, and being what people need  you to be.

And all that could also be your destiny.

I don’t favor the very selfish viewpoint on finding your dream nowadays. Your dream can be what would help other people. And sometimes we have to adjust our priorities.

Even Timon and Pumba take a more noble place beside Simba and prove they are not the cowards they thought themselves.

That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

Mary Poppins

If I may wax nostalgic without ripping off some popular you-tubers, I’d like to look back on this classic.

I just watched it today, and it seems, like all classics, to have more in it than I realized as a child.

Since I grew up right as Disney was transitioning more and more to 3D and coming to the end of it’s Renaissance phase (that’s all the 2D princesses and princes after Sleeping Beauty,) I never found the really old films quite as interesting to re-watch, but I felt their charm and I think it’s shame a lot of kids now haven’t even watched these classics.

Mary Poppins is at least a perennial favorite movie of mine. I always wanted to ride those merry-go-round horses (it used to really frustrate me that I knew they weren’t real) hop into pictures, laugh on the ceiling and dance on rooftops.

I also have seen Saving Mr. Banks, so that lent the movie even more meaning. I remember asking my mom once during Mary Poppins, while Bert was talking/singing to Mr. Banks, why he was doing so. She told me he was trying to help him learn the lesson Mary Poppins was trying to teach him. I wasn’t entirely clear on what that lesson was. I’d often ask my mom questions about stuff I had already figured out just to hear what she would say, and often she’d say something I hadn’t thought of though basically agreeing with me.

So, that said. What do I think about the movie now that I’m older?

I think that in the end there are two basic messages of the film, and they are expressed in different ways through the whimsical things that happen.

The secondary message is that life needs a little wonder in it and a little fun in everything, or it isn’t worthwhile. I know that this movie influenced my attitude about chores and other tasks. I play music and sing when I clean just because it’s more fun  hat way and I’m more likely to finish the task. Oh the tedious hours of cleaning before I clued in to this trick. Ugh.

Now my mom might just listen to a radio talk show, or nothing at all, not everyone needs to use this method; but the point is, especially if you’re young, you don’t like grueling work.

And who doesn’t want a merry-go-round horse that can go off the carousal? I wish.

The funny thing is, though I didn’t like Mr. Banks, I knew he was right that those things weren’t real. Even Mary Poppins never admits that they were and seems affronted at even doing them half the time. I was that kid who grows up knowing Santa Claus isn’t real, and frankly the Easter Bunny was never appealing to me. And fairies aren’t real, and so on.

Yet I never ceased to enjoy stories aobut those things, or to wish in a way that they were real. And now I believe in them in a different sort of way.

I don’t believe that Santa Claus is real, but I believe in the possibility of things like Santa Claus. I don’t believe Mary Poppins is real, but I do believe that there are people just as wondrous as her who don’ get have the recognition. Remember that real life is stranger than fiction and their are weirder things than tea parties on the ceiling.

Heck, in the very same movie Mr. Banks references the Boston Tea Party, and that story is almost as odd as an actual tea part defying gravity.  I mean, colonists dressed as Native Americans? Seriously? Why would the Natives have thrown tea overboard? It was almost comical…funny. Like the tea party on the ceiling…hmm.

Anyway, the Primary message of Mary Poppins hits even closer to home. It’s about how adults can get to where they miss the little things that are so important.

You see, fixing the children’s kite, the tuppence, the feeding the birds, they are all of a piece. They are all little things. Things that seem to a busy man like a waste of time. He is focused on railroads, bridges, tea plantation, etc. All noble things perhaps (it’s debatable) but are they necessarily more important?

It’s an age old dilemma that adults have been trying to answer forever. Is it more important to be contributing the world in general and helping humanity or is it more important to be at home with your family making real memories. And people have answered it different ways. There’s a big movement now, especially among feminists and Hollywood, that we can have both.

But the fact is, that is almost impossible. Some few people can make it work, but most can’t prioritize family and work equally.

Which is more important? Mr. Banks comes to think that it is his family. Time goes by so fast, and kids will grow up, perhaps not hating their parents who neglected them, but never having that kind of bond with them that kids who felt valued did.

I can personally attestify to this. Once childhood is gone, it’s gone. Adult children can become close to their parents even after years of estrangement, but it’s a different kind o close. It can be just as good but never just as innocent as the first.

That’s why we need to treasure childhood instead of trying to rid ourselves of it, as Mr. Banks does at first.

The spoon full of sugar metaphor is pretty clear, a little sweetness is not hard to give, and it pays dividends in relationships.

The fixing of the kite ties all three metaphors together. The tuppence for paper and string, the kite, and the sweetness even after the medicine of being fired and disgraced.

Little things are important.

As an author and a reader I notice how often in stories little events end up being what the whole ending is hinged on. Often our Salvation turns on the smallest thing.

Big things are important of course, but the secret may actually be that big things are composed of many small things suddenly coming together. That’s my experience.

Those are my thoughts, until next time–Natasha.