On February 11th, our world lost Shirley Temple Black. Her expert singing and tap dancing in 1934's movie, "Stand Up and Cheer!" first gained her wide audience. President Roosevelt said regarding her, "When the spirit of the people is lower than at any other time during this Depression, it is a splendid thing that for just 15 cents, an American can go to a movie and look at the smiling face of a baby and forget his troubles.” I don’t think a more wholesome role model came through Hollywood. As an adult, she added a loving marriage, wonderful family, and creditable career serving her country.
Name favorite characters in fiction or history that lift your head and put spring in your step to march forward?
Some of mine are Topsy from Uncle Tom’s Cabin - Irrepressible. Facing staggering opposition, she survives and just grows. Katniss Everdeen, Hunger Games - Fiercely fights injustice, hazarding everything to save her nation and loved ones, and after believing she is defeated, wins. Tom Sawyer - Makes repetitive chores fun while mastering character analysis. Eric Liddell (Chariots of Fire, with a daughter still living in Canada) set a high price on what mattered most without compromise, and saw history bend when he valued “something greater than gold.”
May God help us create characters with believable flaws who struggle and fall but rise again and change, doing in the end what they could not do in the beginning.
Just as Shirley Temple encouraged America during hard times, as we pray, write, and change ourselves, may we be pens in God’s hands recording stories that lift hearts.
What about you? Name some favorites and the changes they inspire.