Lessons from A Little Princess

Listening to books with Madilynn is such a blessing. We both get to “read” more as I introduce her to classic stories with good morals and life lessons. Madilynn makes connections between the characters and herself. She gets involved in the story as she would playing with a friend.

Like the other books, it has been a while since I read A Little Princess. Most of what I remembered came from the Shirley Temple movie, but that adaptation is not much like the book. I did find a mini-series that fit the book much better, so that is what we watched after finishing the book.

Sarah, the “princess,” is a storyteller. She makes history come to life for other girls in the school and uses her imagination to invent thrilling adventures to entertain her schoolmates. She says, EVERYTHING’S a story. You are a story—I am a story.” Whenever you struggle in your story, or with someone else’s, remember that “between the lines of every story there is another story, and that is one that is never heard and can only be guessed at by the people who are good at guessing.” When you guess, you exercise your own empathy and you might learn something in the process.

We alone bear responsibility for our responses to others. I cannot control everyone, but I can control myself. “When people are insulting you, there is nothing so good for them as not to say a word — just to look at them and think. When you will not fly into a passion people know you are stronger than they are, because you are strong enough to hold in your rage, and they are not, and they say stupid things they wished they hadn’t said afterward. There’s nothing so strong as rage, except what makes you hold it in — that’s stronger. It’s a good thing not to answer your enemies.” Sometimes the best thing to say really is nothing at all.

You are who you choose to be with your actions! Sarah’s story is a riches to rags story, yet her kindness and empathy do not change. “Whatever comes…cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.” When we choose to rise above the insults and ridicule of the world, our example speaks louder and longer than any amount of lecturing.

Act in love. Show kindness. Consider others. We have been to other countries and something that translates into any language is being a good human. “Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words and everything in the world understands it. Perhaps there is a soul hidden in everything and it can always speak, without even making a sound, to another soul.” Do something today to make the world a little brighter.

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