To Be a Hero

Oh gosh, have I missed this. Yay! School’s out, and I can blog everyday again! It’s time to get ready for all those college applications *groan*. But I didn’t write this to talk about school. On the contrary, I’ve had the theme of this blog post in my brain for ages, that theme being redemption as seen in my favorite tv show, Once Upon a Time. So here we go!

I don’t know about you, but I generally put books into 3 categories: books that are kinda good but not exceptionally amazing; books with really engaging plots but aren’t particularly meaningful; and finally, books that are really meaningful, regardless of how engaging the plot is (they usually go hand in hand with books that make you cry). I actually blogged about one of my favorite books that belongs in this last category, so you can check that out here if you want. Anyways, we have been blessed with wonderful minds who created these books that mean so much. And usually, the biggest difference between the stories with amazing plots and small meanings and the stories with great meanings and perhaps average plots comes down to redemption.

These are the stories (because they don’t have to just be books) that give us hope for the world and hope for humanity. We all know that we live in a fallen world and that we are flawed. We just can’t escape that. But there is hope. We don’t have to be slaves to our fallen nature; we can rise above it and be heroes. That is what these stories show us. They say that we may have failed, but we don’t have to let that failure define us. Since I was inspired by the Once Upon a Time season 2 finale, I’ll use it as an example.

(SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE FINALE)

The so-called Evil Queen Regina just wanted someone to love her. After her fiancee, Daniel, died, she had no one. But then Henry came along. Henry, her adopted son, saw beyond all her lies and less than honorable actions. Henry believed in the goodness of Regina, but Regina kept failing him. When the trigger that would destroy Storybrooke falls into the wrong hands (somewhat due to Regina), Regina has a choice to make. She could continue on the self-serving path she had created for herself, or she could be noble and save everyone in Storybrooke. Regina makes the choice to sacrifice herself in exchange for everyone else, showing that Henry was right all along. 

This moment was so beautiful it legitimately made me cry. The beauty of her sacrifice coupled with the profound change of character she had in that moment was just too much for me. I don’t really expect you to understand unless you know the story, but that doesn’t really matter. Redemption plays a part in almost every truly meaningful story. In The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo, it was in the forgiveness of Despereaux’s father. Some stories, like The Great Gatsby, find meaning in showing painful truths. But the best ones are the ones that say you don’t have to slay dragons or destroy the Ring of Power to be a hero. 

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