Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Value of a Heart

This past week, I went to the theater to see Belle. The movie is inspired by the true story of Dido
Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate mixed raced daughter of Royal Navy Admiral, Sir John Lindsey and African slave, Maria Belle. Dido's father placed her in the care of a great uncle and aunt who raised her as a free young woman, along with another great niece. Her uncle, Lord Mansfield, held the position of Lord Chief Justice and had a hand in ending slavery in England.
Because of her aristocratic blood, Dido lived a privileged life in the upperclass society, but the color of her skin kept her from being fully accepted into society, and she was unable to participate in the traditions of her social standing.
Dido eventually married a man who loved her unconditionally and they had three sons.

I've often pondered what life must have been like for Dido Belle, to be a member of a family, yet having to eat dinner separate from them to appease fellow aristocratic diners because of their discomfort over the color of her skin - what it must have been like to be brought up in elevated social standings, yet be unable to look forward to marriage because her African mother's blood flowed through her veins. Dido was a good and gentle woman with a kind heart and possessed all the social graces of her upperclass station, yet no one outside her family could look past the color of her skin.
Then she was blessed with the love of John Davinier, a man who truly saw her beauty because he looked into her heart.

How many times are we judged because of how we look, how much we weigh, how much money we have, how talented we are, or even our background? How often do we judge others in these same ways?
A person's worth is so much more than the shallow value we place on one another. Part of the problem is most of the time our eyes aren't truly opened enough to look past the outer shell and see deep into the heart. We are so blinded by things that hold no importance. Instead of just living in the world, we let the world transform us, we let it mold us, mold our minds and shape our thoughts until we no longer do our own thinking. We let the world think for us. It happens often, and most of the time we don't realize the power we allow the world to have over us.

I challenge all of us to open our minds and hearts and enable our vision to see beyond the outer shell, and glimpse inside the heart. Because that is where the true treasure lies. That is where we will see the real person and realize the true value that is placed on us all.

Suggested Reading
Book: Waterfall: A Novel (River of Time Series)
Author: Lisa T. Bergren

About the Book

Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Bentarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives with their parents, famed Etruscan scholars, among the romantic hills. In Book One of the River of Time series, Gabi and Lia are stuck among the rubble of medieval castles in rural Tuscany on yet another hot, boring, and dusty archeological site … until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.
And thus she comes to be rescued by the knight-prince Marcello Falassi, who takes her back to his father’s castle—a castle Gabi has seen in ruins in another life. Suddenly Gabi’s summer in Italy is much, much more interesting. But what do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?
I love, love this series. It has the perfect blend of action, romance, and plenty of Italian history:-)
Available on Amazon

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