Monday, November 30, 2015

Take Courage and Be Kind and I went out to the movies the other night (well, it was the other night when I originally started writing this post) and watched the new Cinderella movie (wonderful movie). Throughout the film, a single theme echoed: "Have courage and be kind." I love that. So simple, so easy to remember, yet so powerful.

One of the things I love about the phrase is how it is a dichotomy. Courage and kindness are not synonyms--rather they have almost opposite connotations. Courage is powerful, while kindness is soft and compassionate. Courage takes charge, while kindness simply serves. Courage strengthens the weak, while kindness comforts the broken.

Yet, one without the other is incomplete. Courage without kindness is a dictatorship. It becomes harsh and uncaring. Kindness without courage is powerless. Without the strength to stand, it waffles and bends and is trampled over. Only together do they become truly virtuous. Courage strengthens kindness, giving it the strength to make a difference in this world. Kindness tempers courage, allowing one to lead with patience and mercy.

So many values come this way:

Justice and Mercy
Love and Fear
Faith and Works
Work and Play

Often times, things in our world go wrong not because someone has evil values, but because they lean too far to one side neglecting the other. As the Scripture says, "Turn neither to the right nor the left." Others become a "wave...tossed by the wind" as they attempt to find a sort of 50/50 balance (a little justice here, a little mercy there, but never shall the two touch).

It's not about just having the right balance of each, but rather having 100% of both such that each value compliments its pair. Mercy should temper justice; justice should give structure to mercy. Love should soften fear; fear should restrain love. Faith should motivate works; works should strengthen faith. Etc.

Our world is full of contradictions, but it's the contradictions that make life so complex and beautiful. Anyway, those are some of my thoughts coming out of the "Cinderella" movie (which was incredibly well done, by the way). If you're interested in reading some thoughts on the actual movie (rather than my tangent on value dichotomies), check out this review from my friend Kelsey Bryant.


  1. Great thoughts on "value dichotomies"! I never thought about these pairs in this way before. I thought of them as needing to be balanced, but I think you're right---it's more like having 100% of each. That way they naturally temper or compliment each other. It's part of being whole in our values. God, as our example, has the perfect measure of each.
    (Thanks for the link to my review!)

    1. Thanks Kelsey! I actually got the idea of 100% / 100% from G. K. Chesterton (he talks about it in his book "Orthodoxy").