This I Believe

Bethany - Evansville, Indiana
Entered on November 20, 2006

And they lived happily ever after. Such is the cliché ending to almost every fairy tale written. Usually, the tag line is preceded by some form of a damsel in distress, prince charming, and an evil nemesis of sorts. These three elements are mixed, matched, missed, and misinterpreted from story to story. The plots and settings range from a troubled teen in inner city, New York, to a missing birthday cake in the enchanted castles of Pony Land. However, there is one thing that’s usually consistent with each story; they’re all make-believe.

Happy endings seem to be a common, unattainable goal among most people. The idea of a picture perfect life after a struggle sometimes gives us courage to face another day. So, the question remains; if happy endings are myths, what fills the human spirit with hope? I believe that happy endings exist, its just how you look at it.

The normal outline of a story with a happy ending includes an introduction, a conflict, a resolution and, voila, happy ending. These things, in my opinion, do happen quite often in life, just not, perhaps, with the same distinct qualities of those that we see in the movies. People often assume that in order to have a happy ending, you must have a string of fortunate events, a last minute rescue from death, or some other act of blatant heroism. In the constraints of life, however, our happy endings are rarely so dramatic.

For instance, Introduction: Sally (our damsel in distress) goes to Starbucks for her morning cup of coffee (Prince charming). Conflict. She gets there only to find that the drive in window (the evil nemesis) is currently not working. Resolution: She parks, and goes inside to get her coffee. And they lived happily ever after. The simple truth is that we all live out hundreds of fairy tales every day. Even a simple event such as walking can be thrown into a dramatic tale of love and destiny if put in the correct perspective.

“Right foot places itself slowly and gingerly on the soft plush carpet, gracefully, the leg and the rest of the body attached sway forwards on top of the gracious and loving support that only right foot can provide. But suddenly, out of nowhere, gravity begins to take its toll. The body once so secure and prominent has swayed too far and is rapidly descending towards the soft, plush carpet, and its not-so-soft cement base. Right foot is trapped under the gaining weight and pressure of the body above it, and it seems as though nothing is going to change the horrible, painful fate that the body is about to endure. Just then, in the nick of time, when it seems like all hope is lost, left foot comes from nowhere, and plants itself down nobly, freeing right foot of the mounting pressure and saving the body from a terribly fall. And they all lived happily ever after.”

As normal, real live, non-animated human beings, we often overlook these little miracles of life. But I believe in happy endings, and their power to make life a little bit more exciting, if we just take the time to stop and look for them.