Last night, I caught one of the many showings of Gone With the Wind on AMC. They were having an all-day marathon of the movie in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the publication of Margaret Mitchell’s book.
75 years. I have to admit, I have only just started reading the book, but I’ve seen the movie countless times. Just the bit I’ve read, I know there is a TON of stuff that was left out of the movie. But I still love the movie. I even went to see it in the theater on the 60th anniversary. Having only seen it on a 19 inch screen to that point I was amazed and awestruck at what David O. Selznick accomplished back in 1939. I guess I have a love for it also because my mother named me after Mrs. Melanie Hamilton Wilkes.
For a moment, I want to focus on dear Katie Scarlett. The women reviled by those in “genteel” society. A woman who once faced with adversity is not afraid to get her hands dirty and fight for not only her family but what she wants out of life. For some reason, I was especially thoughtful after last night’s viewing. Could be because it was the night before Thanksgiving and home by myself. There are lessons to be learned from Miss Scarlett.
1) Be grateful for what you have instead of pining for what you don’t. For Scarlett, these things would be money to keep her beloved Tara and to show up the rest of society and the perpetual infatuation with Ashley Wilkes. Instead of loving Rhett or Charles Hamilton or even Sueann’s Mr. Kennedy, she constantly pines for the school girl crush and misses out on her chance to have true love.
2) No matter how down and out you are, you must be able to make decisions that enable you to live with yourself. Scarlett doesn’t realize this until the very end. And truthfully, I don’t think she fully realizes just how hurtful and destructive her actions have been. In the movie she still says, “I need to get him back” not I need to apologize or Oh, how I’ve hurt this caring man. It’s still all about her.
3) My favorite line – “I’ll think about it tomorrow.” Ah, procrastination. But, in the sense of Scarlett’s world, it is a good philosophy. How many of us dwell on what’s happened and let it hinder our tomorrows? In a sense, she recognizes what’s she’s done but refuses to let her guilt or greed or shame or even hunger stop her from her ultimate goals. She doesn’t let these instances in life keep her down.
So I guess in a way, Scarlett got me thinking about being thankful. There have been tragedies in my life, as there have been in others. Most people don’t know how many unless I tell them. But I try not to let them bring me down. On the backside of 30, I still try to have a child-like enthusiasm when it comes to certain things. I still dream big knowing I’ll fail big . That’s the beauty of it though. When I’m stuck in a wheelchair or a bed or hopefully in a rocking chair, I can look back and say “At least I tried. And I’m thankful I had the opportunity.”
If you have the opportunity to say you love someone, do it. If it’s giving a stranger a few extra coins at the checkout when they’re short, do it. Be thankful for what you have because if you pine for what you don’t, you’ll never appreciate any of it. Give your friends a hug, kiss your loved ones and just be thankful.
I want to say thanks to those of you who have found me online and encouraged my writing journey this past year. I’ve been truly amazed at how many wonderful people out there who are willing to support a stranger who happens to have similar goals as themselves. My fellow writers, keep at it and if you ever need a cheerleader, you can find one here.