Monday, March 26, 2012

Be less

We always hear about how success in life demands doing more.  Whether this refers to doing greater things or doing more of them, the consensus is that we need to 'accomplish,' in order to be someone deserving of admiration -- to be 'more.'

My business' Facebook page celebrates a theme each week, and this week we are looking at Fictional Heroines.  When considering the topic, my first thoughts went to characters who were decisive women of action, such as Eowyn from Lord of the Rings, Elizabeth Bennet of Pride & Prejudice, The Scarlet Letter's Hester Prynne and, more currently, Hermione Granger of the Harry Potter series.

After my initial zeal over these beloved paragons had tempered, some other names came to mind.  The second wave of  characters didn't shout or brandish swords, but silently crept into my consciousness and sat well-behavedly, just waiting for me to get round to them.  These are characters such as Agnes from David Copperfield, Galadriel of Lord of the Rings and Melanie Hamilton of Gone with the Wind.  These are the female archetypes I have most desired to emulate in life.  

They represent, to me, all that is most noble in the human spirit -- incredible strength, goodness, wisdom, patience, virtue, selflessness, sacrifice for a greater good, and unquenchable loving-kindness.  They look for the good in others.  And whaddaya know... they find it.  Even if the people in question doesn't see it in themselves.  

They bring out the best in everyone around them.  And they do so with quiet dignity, grace and humor.  They need not resort to Machiavellian machinations or physical force.  They are far too powerful for that, as they possess 'deep magic' --the kind of love that Lilly Potter bestowed on her only son, Harry, which saved his life and ultimately equipped and empowered him to defeat evil incarnate.  That's the role model for me!

I admit, there are days when I feel far more Scarlet than Melanie, but as is part and parcel of every 'hero's journey,' there are challenges to be overcome as we come into our own and realize our own nobility and strength. So while the road may often seem long and tiresome, if not downright treacherous, I will trudge on in my quest to improve from within.  And I won't give up until my character is polished into something of which I can be truly proud, and of real lasting benefit to others.  After all, persistence and perseverance are the hallmarks of a true heroine.