I just watched the movie ‘Brave’ again with my kids. Three generations bonding as a family, watching what I consider to be a wonderful movie full of meaning.
“Mend the bond torn by pride” is one of the themes of the movie and I would say is the main theme. Merida repeats this mantra over and over in the film trying to right a wrong.
Many families are ‘torn’ apart by pride, stubbornness, lack of communication and lack of bonding.
In order for their to be cohesion in a family; values, morals, religion (for some), similar interests, understanding, communication, respect and empathy are needed. None of us would be individuals if we did not have our own interests and hobbies. Life would be boring if all of society was the same, but at the same time there must be rules as well.
I understand the necessity for tradition and culture especially in the time period the movie ‘Brave’ is set in. Throughout history, kingdoms were led by kings and queens who should have had their kingdoms best interests at heart, although we know that was not always the case. Unfortunately, many kings and queens were greedy, grandiose in thought and at times somewhat delusional to the detriment of the general population. Actually, this is still true today in modern times in some countries.
Families, like kingdoms, sometimes need to set aside tradition for the good of the family. Pride should not get in the way of bonding.
In the beginning of the movie the queen and princess did not agree on tradition, did not listen to one another and had different interests. At the end of the movie, they developed respect for one another and each others choices. This is as it should be.
Encourage traditions and values at the same time as diversity. It is a delicate balance for many families.
I hope that my kids are like Merida and challenge me if there is something they really believe in, an interest that they have that is different from mine. I want them to grow to be unique individuals with values, morals, a healthy ego and most importantly to be active and participating members of society.
Written by Victoria Brewster, MSW
SJS Staff Writer in Canada