Have Courage and be Kind

Lessons we can learn from Disney and how we
can apply them to our business lives

What is better
than cuddling up with your daughter, watching a Disney movie on a rainy
Saturday afternoon? A few years ago, I had the pleasure of watching Disney’s
Cinderella in such circumstances.

One thing puzzled
me during that movie. Why did Ella’s (Cinderella’s) mom wait until she was on
her deathbed before she shared her wisdom?

“a great secret that will see you through all the
trials life has to offer… have courage and be kind”

In this modern-day
Cinderella remake, the message is so different from previous versions, that is
what makes this one so refreshing and relevant. Today’s version is more of a
young woman whose naiveté is far sweeter when accompanied by her steely resolve
to achieve success no matter what.

After her dear
mother dies, Ella is courageous and she is kind to everyone, including her
cruel and twisted stepmother and stepsisters who continually bully and belittle
her.

Sure, Cinderella
looks stunning but it’s more her inner beauty that captures attention – her courage and her kindness. Everyone has
inner beauty, and it’s not only the stuff of fairy tales.

Since that day,
the last thing I say to my daughter as I tuck her into bed each night is “have
courage and be kind”. What better motto for a child growing up? One day she may
be a businesswoman, a leader in the community, and hopefully she will carry
this motto with her and apply it to everyday situations.

Kindness: “the
quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.”

Courage: “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, or pain without fear.” I explain courage to my daughter as “doing something even when you’re scared to do it”

At first it might
seem odd to merge kindness and courage together as core values but if you stop
and think about it those two characteristics, when blended together they can
help you get through most life situations. Kindness helps you appreciate others,
even when they may not act in a way that appears to deserve that tolerance.
Courage helps you live with integrity, even when you are fearful of the consequences.

We need to have courage
and kindness in our lives and often we need them both in the same moment – for
example, at times in our lives it will take great courage to treat someone well.
It will also take great courage to know when to walk away from situations or
people that aren’t good for you.  Ultimately it will take kindness to
forgive and walk away without feelings of malice or anger. Courage is what
helps you to continue moving forward with your life.

How can we have courage when others mistreat us? Why should we be kind to those who are cruel?

Let’s face it, life isn’t a fairy-tale. People will
mistreat you, sometimes for no good reason besides to see you fall. Cinderella chose
to act bravely and kind because she was a princess – not by blood, but a true
princess at heart.

Sometimes,
the life you live becomes your downfall. Your daily life can become so rough
that you begin to lose sight of your personal values. Increasing stress and
demands threaten to rob you of your passion for achieving your happiness.

Some
people come into your life and you want them to stick around forever, but they
don’t. Pressures start out small, but they build continuously. It is important
not to lose sight of what makes you special and what got you where you are.

You
have a choice to make in the face of corporate bullying. Do you choose to
continue to allow yourself to be broken down and destroyed? Or will you rise
above it, making use of your core values and beliefs?

So, when you encounter bullies at school, home or
at work, remember this: Cinderella rose above, remaining hopeful and kind until
things finally worked
out in her favour. She is not weak; she is resilient and strong.

Kindness is not weakness – it is strength

Have
the courage to remain kind. Stand proud when life begins to pull you down. Try
not to become bitter; that is letting the bad guys win. Stay humble in the face
of the too-proud.

This
is not to say you should become a doormat. Stand up for yourself and for what
is right in the face of so much wrong. Just do it in a way that maintains your values.
Two wrongs never make a right.

Choose
to be happy. Have courage and be kind.

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