A Better View

Another lag in posting has occurred. I try not to put up too much information about Ben and his travels, for a number of reasons. The biggest one being the instantaneous nature of the internet and how quickly it can compromise not only his safety, but those who he works with as well as our own. Ben recently returned home from a deployment and we have been spending some much needed quality family time together, hence the unannounced break.

Image from: http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Sofia_the_First_(character)
Image from: http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Sofia_the_First_(character)

I’ve been keeping a list on my phone of inspirations for blog posts and this one comes from that list. A while back, John and Rosie were super into the DisneyJr. show, Sofia the First. Basically, Sofia’s mother marries the king and they go from villagers to royalty. The whole show is Sofia learning what it means to be a princess, making mistakes, and shaking up the accepted norms of princess behavior.

Not all of the episodes are profound, but some have some pretty decent lessons for young children. One such episode was about putting others before yourself and having an optimistic attitude. The castle butler, Baileywick, is celebrating his birthday and the king and queen decide to give him the day off. His brother comes to town and plans out an elaborate day. However, everyone is used to Baileywick helping them whenever they ask, regardless of his current activities. So, when he tries to leave for his birthday activities, he is continually stopped by the castle children to assist with butterfly catching and tea party color coordination, among other things.

Now, I imagine most of us would get quite fed up with this lack of respect and selfishness of the children. They all know that it is Baileywick’s day off, but they insist that he help them first. Baileywick’s brother actually tries to leave, frustrated that his whole day was spent waiting for Baileywick to finish helping, only to miss the planned activity altogether.

Rather than give into frustration, Baileywick chooses to remain positive. Each time they miss an activity, Baileywick just points to the next one, confident that he and his brother will still be able to spend some time together. His brother is in awe that Baileywick always manages to look on the bright side of things. I actually wrote down Baileywick’s response, it’s that good.

“That’s because there’s always a better view there.”

Such a simple philosophy, but what a great way to think about things. It’s basic optimism, but with a strong visual image to go with it. Studies have shown what an incredible benefit it is to have an optimistic outlook (check out this article if you are interested).

As I’m writing more and reflecting more, I’m finding some recurring themes. One of them is the development of habits. It is easier to make good choices if you have a habit of making good choices. It is easier to be disciplined in a certain area if you have developed the habit of discipline in others. I believe the same goes for optimism.

Baileywick not only teaches the benefits of a habit of optimism but also a habit of self-sacrifice and service to others.


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