The Synonym of Melanie
February 21, 2013
I suppose I’m one of the last to see “Gone with the Wind.” Yet I watched it for the first time the other night. Previously, I had only seen bits of the end including the famous line by Rhett Butler “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” as he walked out the door for good, leaving a broken Scarlett to declare that she would win him back. After all, “…tomorrow is another day.”
My initial reaction was disappointment in Scarlett O’Hara. I had not realized she was self-absorbed, vain, manipulative, and stepped on anyone in her way, never looking back. That being said, I’d be remiss not mentioning that when push came to shove she also exhibited great tenacity when finding herself in a situation where her smile and charm were rendered ineffective. She deserves credit for holding things together during hard times. But those times were few and far between as she’d rather live free of responsibility, to be spoiled and taken care of, to which she felt completely entitled.
Honestly, if it hadn’t been for Melanie Wilkes (Olivia de Havilland, who played her, lives in Paris today) I probably wouldn’t have continued watching. However, Melanie is the type of person I admire. True, I’m not impressed by what people wear, what they drive, where they live, or how many zeros are in their bank account. However, I am impressed by how someone treats other people. Kindness, love and integrity impress me. And it should you, too.
These qualities embodied Melanie who saw goodness in everyone. She didn’t have to find it; she already knew it was there. There is a lesson here for all of us.
Olivia de Havilland as Melanie...the picture of kindness
She truly treated everyone the same and refused to be affected by what others said about anyone, holding fast to her belief in loving-kindness. Melanie was a kind and gentle soul who sincerely touched so many lives in an inspiring way. And if the name ‘Melanie’ had a list of synonyms they would be: compassion, gentleness, humanity, charity, kindheartedness, and benevolence. In other words ‘Melanie’ would mean love.
Realizing what a different world this would be if we modeled our behavior after Melanie over Scarlett, I considered all the other ‘Melanie’s’ I’d seen on TV over the years. Andy, in “The Andy Griffith Show;” Charles and Caroline Ingalls, in “Little House on the Prairie;” Dr. Mike, in “Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman;” Jonathan, in “Highway to Heaven;” and Monica and Tess, in “Touched by an Angel.” My all-time favorite is Andy Griffith, an ordinary man and the epitome of love and kindheartedness. Always putting other’s needs before himself he cared about the well-being of everyone.
Andy Griffith truly lived this outside of his show also as he was never given writing credit for his input; instead, choosing to continue nurturing the loving-kindness element of the show without reward. Dickens, if I could, I’d take everything off TV except Andy Griffith and other shows offering love, kindness and gentleness toward our fellow human beings for at least one year. Of course, the FCC would have something to say. Doesn’t mean you can’t try this at home. Trust me it will change your life and that of your family in ways you could never have imagined.
You see, in my mind I wrote the sequel to “Gone with the Wind” where Scarlett returns to Tara full of joy. Acquiring a wealth of life lessons by the losses she suffered, melted are the icicles around her heart as she realizes love truly conquers all. Believing in everyone’s goodness she makes it her life mission to be the quintessence of love and kindness. Yes, she has become a living, breathing synonym of Melanie. And so we can also.
Can you imagine…living the sequel of your life full of love, joy and kindness?
Smile, your sequel begins now.
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