Few of us have ever realized that fairy stories have their counterpart in Nature. The world about us is filled with ugly step-mothers and half sisters who cannot wear glass slippers. It is true they are not living people but they are attitudes and thoughts; for our own dispositions, when perverted and soured, become hateful ogres and witches seeking to destroy goodness and kindness within ourselves.
Do you remember Beauty and the Beast-how, in spite of the sorcery that had turned the handsome prince into a hideous monster, the coming of Beauty into his life restored him again to human form and happiness? Through the lack of beauty in his own heart, many an individual has become a horrible, hideous beast, who while still in human shape has all the attributes of a ferocious animal.
Beauty of soul and beauty of life bring back happiness to the beast. In Nature we always see Beauty redeeming the Beast. Out in the forest the dark, dead tree is gaunt and bare; but Nature with her magic wand covers the tree with creeping vines, decking its giant limbs with mantles of flowers and urging the birds to build their nests amid its dark branches. A beautiful word, a beautiful thought, a beautiful life-all these are magic wands, which recall Prince Charming from the darkness of gloom and despondency.
All these stories have a meaning the child never suspects, but so deep the sage cannot comprehend it all.
Have you read the story of Sleeping Beauty? If not, go straight to the library and visit the children’s room. Sit down on one of those little chairs about ten inches from the floor, get out the book with its colored pictures and much-thumbed pages, and go with the Prince through the great forest of nettles and thorns which surrounds the palace of Princess Beautiful. The Princess is under a spell which causes her to sleep until she is awakened by the handsome Prince, who passes through all the obstacles of life in order to claim her as his own.
Have you ever realized that you are both the Prince and the Princess in One-that the Princess is your own better nature, the spirit of beauty lying asleep in you, hidden away behind walls of nettles and thorns of conflict? These thorns and briars are the struggles and disappointments and impediments of life, for there is a crown of thorns in every life.
We often fail in life because of the lack of inspiration which adds soul to the dexterity of the fingers. Every life must not only have the power to accomplish; it must also have the inspiration to lead it on.
Man longs for the beautiful and true, but he must always claim it from a heart of sorrow and sadness. Peace will never be found without labor, so go with the faith of a true prince into the world, which is the forest of nettles, for the world is filled with aggravating, pricking tearing and wounding things. But if you will go through life with the faith of the fairy prince, you will find that the thorns give way before you, that the nettles and briars part and let you through; for there is a reward for those who seek to beautify life and awaken the spirit of harmony lying asleep behind the briars of privation.
There is beauty in all things. If your life has been deprived of it, go forth like the prince and claim it. Remember, however, that happiness must always be reached through the forest of thorns and that every spirit must be a hero to attain it.
Live and Learn. We All Do.
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