So the other day I watched the live action Mulan. I was struck by the statement Bravery, Loyalty, Truth… and Family Love.
Let’s start at the beginning with Bravery. Now we can gloss over the typical definition we all get that being brave is showing strength in the face of fear or danger. So let’s look at what it means in our daily lives. Are you brave enough to be honest with yourself and those around you? Do you accept your flaws and weaknesses? Are those of you suffering from anxiety, are you brave enough to talk about those feelings and the experiences that created them? Those of you who are harboring resentments are you brave enough to tell those that hurt you? There is another part: are you accepting of your strengths and completeness? Those are also part of being brave. For many people they find it hard to accept their greatness. Then there is the strength to stand up to people you care about? Especially friends and family, if they say something that is unkind or unjust against someone else?
Next on the list is Loyalty, So are you faithful, and committed to your family, community, country, and God? Family and friends are the ones we think of most often. Maybe you think of loyalty as keeping your word, obeying family rules, commitment and shared experiences. If you are not feeling loyal to your family you have dropped the ball in one or more of those areas. Maybe you no longer share responsibilities or you are not sharing physical and emotional closeness. These can be dropped at any time even after 40 years of being in a relationship with someone. Many people call it falling out of love. Once this loyalty is dropped the relationship is in trouble and will end if things are not corrected. But let’s take this out further. What loyalty is owed to our community or country? Do we have shared rules and laws? Do we have shared experiences? Do we owe loyalty to those that have different rules or experiences than we do? Do you owe loyalty to those who are poor, a different skin color or nationality?
Now on to Truth. Truth is a subject of Philosophy. Many people get stuck on the truth. They bash others about the head with the “truth.” Many people think that their experience or theories equals the “body of real events or facts.” But does my or your experience actually equal “the Truth?” Truth by definition doesn’t change right. But have any of your ideas changed over the years as you have grown? I hope so, I sure have! What I believed was true about myself has changed. What I believed about the world and others has also changed. That is the whole idea we should learn and grow. If that is the case then it is not the truth that we had but a theory we held until we learned more and moved to the next supposition.
Lastly, Love of family. The love of family is sacred. Now this doesn’t excuse bad behavior! In fact it means that those who act out in any way against a family member, don’t understand truth, honesty and know how to honor family love. This can be acting out with anger, violence, sex, verbally or any other way. Those that act out in any of those ways don’t understand family love. Family love should come from unique feelings, behaviors, challenges, and rewards that are only shared in deep long standing relationships. Family is about a group of people that function as a unit. They face trials and challenges together. They accept and support each other and lift each other up and provide grace for those times when family members make mistakes.
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