Saturday, January 25, 2014

ELM (part 4) - Hobbit Virtues

Wikipedia/Dublin Christ Church Cathedral

The picture above is a stained glass rose window in the Christ Church Cathedral, High Street, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland, depicting the Fruit of the Spirit.  

And St. Paul listed these virtues -

But the fruit of the Spirit is 





Against such things there is no law.

In this third part of English, Literature, and Musing (ELM),  the Fruit of the Spirit are virtues cultivated in many of the protagonists in English literature.  And such classics are a rich source of material for films.

For example ...

After the successful trilogy - The Lord of the Rings (2001, 2002, 2003), a trilogy of its prequel The Hobbit is now playing on the big screen (2012, 2013, 2014)

JRR Tolkien, who wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was a devoted Catholic.  Though he wrote fantasy, his faith that defined his worldview was reflected in his writings.  [reference:  20Ways “The Lord of the Rings” Is Both Christian and Catholic]

In this world, evil seems so strong.  

To fight against it, many look for a champion of great power - like a Superman.  Yet, the theme of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings is that it is not the great powers that hold evil in check, but the ordinary folk.

In the first part of the The Hobbit trilogy -  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) this scene reflects that philosophy:

Gandalf's word are worth repeating as they contain the virtues of the Fruit of Spirit, part of Tolkien's religious faith:

Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. 

I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. 
Small acts of kindness and love. 
Why Bilbo Baggins? I don't know. 
Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.

This scene was not in the original book, but it seems faithful to the theme of The Hobbit. And I agree with the comments of the poster of this clip on YouTube - In my opinion this is one of the greatest lines I've heard in all of cinema.

And that testifies to the power of the story as well as the power of everyday acts of kindness and love of ordinary folks!


Previous post on this series:

ELM (part 1) - English, Literature, and Musings (2013)


Photo from:  Wikipedia/Dublin Christ Church Cathedral

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Timeless Truths (part 5): Always Assume Positive Intent Listening

Always assume positive intent.

One of my friends works at Starbucks.  She told me always assuming positive intent was their company's philosophy when servicing customers.  And it's a good one.  This attitude can serve us well when interacting with all kind of  people we come across in life.
[reference: Accentuate the Positive | Miss Woodhouse's Musings

At times, quick judgments must be made.  At first, they may service us well as a filter - to see trouble coming and avoid it.  But left unchecked, quick judgments with limited information can morph into prejudice.  We don't know the whole story.  And sometimes our judgments on someone else are a reflection on ourselves, as noted here -

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
Romans 2:1 (NIV)


This clips makes a good point - Seeing the Good in Others: 

(reference:  )

Likewise, love sums it up:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)

And Love demonstrated as always assuming positive intent is a Timeless Truth.


Previous posts in series:

Timeless Truths (Part 1) - A Cup of Cold Water (2013)

Timeless Truths (part 2) - Love (2013)

Timeless Truths (part 3) - Hakuna Matata - No Worries? (2013)

Timeless Truths (part 4) - A Mother's Advice  (2013)


Photo from: Listening