“To bend but not to break… to yield but not capitulate… to have pride but also humility.”
In the film, The Trouble With Angels, Rosalind Russell goes on to say “This has always been my struggle, Sister. Can I be less tolerant of Mary than the Church has been of me?”
Russell is speaking of the character actress Hayley Mills portrays, a student who is hell-bent on breaking all the rules at the parochial boarding school where her father has dumped her, while he carries on with various and sundry women who are in and out of his life.
“To bend but not to break…” Being flexible enough to change if change is warranted. But never relinquishing one’s core values.
“To yield but not capitulate…”Accepting that someone else might be right. Without being a doormat.
“To have pride but also humility…” Standing tall in one’s beliefs. Yet quietly invoking one’s presence while at the back of the room.
I think humility is the most difficult quality humans can strive to acquire.
In our struggle to survive we are always vying for validation. We need to feel that after we are gone our legacy as having lived will continue ad infinitum. Well, at least for a few generations.
Balancing our innate sense of pride while allowing others to have their shining moment is an even greater struggle.
Giving up center stage is a battle we should constantly wage with ourselves. It’s more than likely we will only succeed 10% of the time. I think even priests and nuns, who commit to putting others first, struggle to honor those vows.
When I think of those I love, whether family member or good friend, humility stands out as their most attractive quality.
They never boast of their accomplishments. Rather they are acclaimed by others.
They never suffer the martyr. Rather they move beyond.
They never insist on center stage. Rather they applaud others.
They never openly speak ill of others. Rather they keep their thoughts close.
They never wear their gifts and talents like flashy accessories. Rather they reveal them as needed.
They never hold forth on how to be humble. Rather by example, they teach.
…i’m still learning…
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I always loved that movie. Thanks for sharing this Rosalind Russell was 59 and being directed by Ida Lupino who was one of few female directors. Great lessons to learn from a movie that had two ground breaking female stars in it: one in front of the camera in a habit and the other behind the camera directing.
I didn’t realize that Ida Lupino directed this film. I’m a great fan of hers. Such an accomplished woman. hugs for sharing…and for feeling as I do about the lessons learned.
I’ve never seen this film but I am adding it to my must see films. The words you’ve laid out for us here in your post are meaningful and deserve much pondering.
To bend but not break … powerful line of words.
Thanks for posting.
I hope you’ll like it. While humorous, there’s a slight undercurrent of tragedy brought about by our human failings. It was made in the 60s. I loved it then, and after seeing it on TV the other night…I still love it. Laughter and goodness…a winning combination in my book.
A lesson we all struggle to learn…
I don’t think a day goes by when we’re not working at it, sometimes taking two steps backward for every step forward.
Your stories about the Catholic school and teacher made front page of today’s New York Times– apparently this is an issue in other Catholic schools around the country too.
Gay citizens are finally making headway in their desire to be thought of as equal members of our society. Continuing to deny them the rights enjoyed by the rest of us is like playing God. When it’s time, He’ll inform me of my transgressions; and when a gay or lesbian person’s time is up, God will tell him or her their transgressions. Men often hide behind God when they want to turn others to their way of thinking. I don’t think God relishes being made a pawn, especially when it’s His creation we’re about.
hugs for letting me know that the issue has gone viral…
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