Beauty and the Beast is probably my favourite Disney movie of all time. The story of how love and doing the right thing can overcome any adversary is a timeless story.
The end of the story where Belle and the now human-again Prince are dancing in front of their friends and family is the classic “happily ever after” ending we all love.
Happily Ever After…
The thing is that we are always aiming to try to get to our “happily ever after”. Personally, there have been times in my life where I’ve longed to “retire”, get “passive income” and move to a tropical island where I can lay around all day doing nothing.
But something hit me the other day.
No one I truly admire and respect is living “happily ever after”.
The people I admire the most, as Theodore Roosevelt put it, are “In The Arena”:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong
man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena...”
These are the people who are on the edge, in the spotlight, at the limits of their capabilities, truly striving to be something more than they think they can be, straddling the line ever so carefully between triumph and disaster.
Could it be that I was wrong to try to “live happily ever after”?
Perhaps the ultimate goal isn’t to laze around a beach somewhere sunny, but to shoulder the greatest burden I possibly can handle and to productively contribute to society as much as possible.