Dreamers have to have Helpers

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This is a Pinterest inspired rant. Yes. One of those. I came across the above quote the other day and had a knee-jerk reaction of anger. Why? Well, to be honest, it’s because I’m the kind of person who a) hates statements like this, b) enjoys, and is satisfied with helping others. Thinking through my reaction led me down a few interesting trains of thought and through some personal history.

Personal History:

1) It brought up my old Dungeons and Dragons days. Yes. I was one of those strange geeky girls who played DnD and wore over-sized baggy plaid shirts and t-shirts. Deep down, that girl still lurks inside me. She lives alongside the farm girl me, and has been joined by the boutique girl me.

One of the great gifts of DnDβ€”and there are manyβ€”is the insight it gives you into yourself and others. We’re all a little freer when we’re “role-playing” a character. There’s a safety when you’re just playing a character to do things and say things you might not normally do. It’s like the idea of you don’t know who you are until you’re put in an intense situation and then who you really are will come out. DnD creates fake intense situation with the covering of role-playing that lets you have some insight into the people around you that you might not otherwise get. (This is why choosing who you play with is very important.)

When I first started playing, I always played fighters and barbarians. I wanted to be the biggest and baddest in the bunch. (This also manifested itself in an odd height competition between me and my brother that resulted in us both having ridiculously tall characters.) I wanted to exert myself, prove myself. I was totally butch all the time . . . and almost never happy. See, I’d try to lead and then when it was important, I didn’t like being in charge. I tried to be big and bad, but no one liked my characters. I wasn’t a nice person to be around.

After many post-playing discussions centered on my unfeminine characters, I decided to try some of the support classes. I decided to try to help instead of lead. (Some feminist somewhere is vomiting.) I switched to playing rouges instead of butch, beefy fighters. Now, I had some great butch characters, namely TearSong and Phoenix, but I quickly found that I, myself, was much happier with my rouges. Rouges are the ones who help the party. They sneak around in the shadows making sure the party is safe.

I learned that I’m more content as a sidekick, as a helper.

2) I did the same with our business. Our boutiques were never my vision. Ever. And when the time came for me to shoulder the bigger leadership responsibilities, we sold the boutiques in less than a year. (There were other factors involved with this, but this was part of it for me.) I didn’t enjoy being the Boss Boss. I don’t mind being the Boss, but to be THE BOSS, isn’t appealing to me.

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Trains of Thought:

I like helping other people build their dreams.

This doesn’t mean I don’t have dreams. I do. They just aren’t grandiose. They’re small. This is not because I lack heart or passion, but because it’s in my nature to be a sidekick, to be the Samwise Gamgee of the story, not the Aragorn. I don’t want to be Aragorn. I can be a captain. I don’t want to be a general. I’m content helping the general.

This quote makes it seem like a bad thing to help build someone else’s dream, but really it’s an insult to everyone who has every helped you.

As someone who has spearheaded many projects both in our business, at home, and at church, I try to always appreciate those willing to help me. They are vital and necessary. I need helpers to do the things I need to do. The dreamers have to have people who help them build, and oddly enough, the helpers need the dreamer.

We live in a society that almost always focuses on either the employee or the boss. We need both. We need someone with money to start the company and we need someone to work the machines. We need the hero and the sidekick. One without the other doesn’t work. And being the helper is no small thing!Β  Our society likes to look down it’s nose at the idea of a man leading his family and the wife helping him, but all that does is degrade helpers. Helpers are very important. That would be like the general deciding he doesn’t need captains, or the business owner deciding he doesn’t need employees, or…the hero trying to save the world without a faithful sidekick. It won’t work.

And, it’s not an issue of forcing someone to help when they’d rather be a hero, either. There are people, like me, who are very happy being the helper. We don’t want to be the hero. We don’t want to be the top dog. We derive immense satisfaction in helping others succeed. We enjoy being on a team, working with others. We enjoy being the moms in the background, the geek behind the computer, the rouge in the shadows, the wife beside her husband.

It took me a long time to realize I am a sidekick, but I am. And once there, I’m content and happy! There’s no place I’d rather be.


Update on my Health:

I’m slowly but surely feeling better. As my doctor said, I must patiently work at getting better. This means lots and lots of rest. So this week I’m on light duty, very light duty. I hope to get the Christmas decorations down by the end of the week. I’ve had to forgo a lot of things I would normally be involved in, but it’s given me time to read, pray, examine my trust in God’s providence, and lean on my husband for a time. I’m so thankful for my church and my family who have brought meals, prayed, picked up groceries, texted me, and reminded me that I’m not forgotten or alone even while I’m trapped on the couch. I’m not back on schedule with the blog yet, so please bear with me as it’s very hit and miss right now. Writing can even wear me out. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts over the last few weeks and going forward into this new week.

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Movie Thoughts: Godzilla

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I’m not the kind of person, y’all know this, that thinks stories have to be ‘pure’ to be good. Some of my favorite movies are dark, heavy, and rough. I think much can be gained by seeing the effects of sin on humanity and people. I don’t think this needs to be done in an extreme to be effective, but that’s another article all together. All I’m trying to say is sin is in this world. Not every story needs to pretend it isn’t. Okay, now, what I enjoyed about Godzilla was its wholesomeness: no heroes with massive flaws, no villains with heroic character traits, just good good-guys vs. big monsters.

Godzilla was wholesome.

Now… SPOILERS!

This movie begins with a nuclear plant meltdown and a government cover-up. It reminded me of Star Trek, the newer movie from 2009, when Kirk’s father dies as he’s being born. Be prepared for tears. (In fact, I got teary-eyed several times in this film.) After the meltdown, move 15 years in the future. The little boy left behind, Ford, has grown up and is an EOD soldier in the US Navy. His father is still trying to uncover the truth behind the plant’s meltdown that cost him his wife. Things begin moving when Ford is forced to leave his own wife and child behind in the US to get his father out of jail in Japan.

After that comes big monsters, massive destruction of US cities, scientist and military arguments, more massive destruction, nuclear bombs, and big monsters.

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Points to enjoy:

  • Many of the traditional Godzilla storytelling techniques were honored and put to good use. This is not Pacific Rim. Do not expect the whole thing to be about monsters. It’s much more about Ford’s conflicts, past, and the choices he faces due to Godzilla’s attack.
  • The military didn’t look like complete idiots. While the scientists were ultimately correct, the military didn’t look like a bunch of high school dropouts or mindless killing robots bent on destroying everything. They based their decisions on the need to protect US citizens, not on mass destruction of massive monsters. The military played a key role in the ultimate winning of the battle.
  • Godzilla is not the bad guy. I always favored the Godzilla movies where he comes in to protect Japan from a bigger monster. This movie went with that idea. Godzilla wakes up and rises from the ocean depths to take out the ‘Mothra’ monster. There is a great moment at the end of the movie where they mirror Ford’s actions and Godzilla’s showing them both to be the warrior saviors of the city.
  • Ford faces the choice to do the job he was trained to do, or return to his family. He chooses to do his job. I felt like this was a very accurate choice for a military man. He has been trained to fight. By doing this, he ultimately protects his family far better than he could have standing beside them. His wife never berates him for this. She’s afraid, but she knows he’s coming, so she waits for him.
  • Ford is a good man. This movie focuses on the father/son story between Ford and his dad. It shows you Ford’s love for his son, but it also shows you Ford willingly standing up for people he doesn’t even know. Ford is a true hero. It wasn’t necessary to make him flawed so we could relate to him. We relate to him just fine as someone with a tragic past. This tragic past doesn’t make him weak, or whiny. It’s part of who he is, but doesn’t inhibit him. (Kinda like Aragorn in Lord of the Rings.)

I enjoyed this movie because it makes you glad for everyday heroes. It creates an extreme situation, and then gives you someone you can cheer for as the world falls apart. (My favorite type of fantasy story.) I can’t wait to share this movie with my nieces and nephews. It’s the kind of story you want boys and girls inspired by.

Godzilla is more than just a monster movie. It’s a story about courage, doing what needs to be done, family, and then monsters.

Rated: PG-13 (I don’t remember any real language, defiantly no inappropriate scenes, so this is probably due to massive monster violence.)

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