Moments of Middle-earth
If you will pardon me for just a
second, I would like to share some of the things that Middle Earth has
taught me over the years. In no way is this list all inclusive, nor is
it meant to tell you what YOU should find important from it. They are,
however, things I would like you to take a moment and think about. Keep
what you like, discard what you don't.
Things I have learned from . . .
Gandalf -- It doesn't matter how smart you are, if you don't use your
brain constantly, you will forget. And never assume that just because
you know a lot, that you know everything and don't need help. Frodo
surprised him, he couldn't remember the word 'Mellon' when the door
needed to be opened, and he would have been stuck on the mountain after
the fight with the Balrog had it not been for the eagle. Most
importantly, however, is that when your friends are in need, you help
them out, even when it means risking something.
This last is seen here on the boards greatly, and is one of the reasons
that this community has lasted so long. Even when the movies are
finally over, and there really isn't too much to say about them that
hasn't been said before, here we are, speaking to our friends,
encouraging our writers, musing about the lessons from the story, and
celebrating our triumphs, woes, and anything else we can think of which
builds our friends up. It is something that is rare, and even when it
is difficult with all of the changes, it is still a worthwhile goal,
and one worth fighting to defend.
Aragorn -- when you are in charge, a bad decision is better than no
decision at all, so keep your wits about you, do your best, and try not
to second guess yourself. Lead by example, don't be afraid to question
yourself, but don't let fear take you over. When he lost Gandalf, he
was miserable, but he was the leader and had to take charge. Did he
want to? No. But he did what he had to do, and put the needs of the
others ahead of his own. Many folks want to lead because they think
they can do a better job than those who are doing so. And sometimes
that is true. However, until you have done the job (Aragorn had walked
with them the entire way!), you don't really know what it intales. I am
learning this in my new job. I am the Dept. Chairman, but it is a
different job than I was expecting. Also, Aragorn taught me that when
you are dealing with those who are beneath you, treat them with respect.
Legolas and Gimli -- Enjoy the differences of others. They may not
think like you, or face things in the same way, but what a great
opportunity to learn. And never assume that just because you know 'what
kind of person the other is' that you know anything about them. You
can't judge a book by its cover, nor a person by their clothes.
Boromir -- Even when you do something wrong, it is never too late to
try to apologize and make things right. Nobody is perfect, and we all
have to say, "I'm sorry." sometimes. Mean it when you say it, and learn
from the experience. And just because you have made a mistake, you are
This one was a tough one for me when I was younger. When I was just
learning to sing, I was always apologetic about it, because I knew it
wasn't good. That kept me from ever really giving it my all, as I knew
it would never be enough. As I got older, I realized that EVERYONE has
things to work on, and if you are uncomfortable, the audience will be
too. Then, one night in Austria, I took a risk and it payed off. I had
been told that I had 'zero potential' as a singer a few years before,
but decided to just let it go and have fun. That night, I let loose my
inhibitions and just 'did it.' After the performance, the Countess
Kottulinsky came up to me and said, "You are a formidible actor."
(though I can't spell to save my soul!). Now, I look forward to doing
my best, whatever that may be, and those that hear me are much better
off. I don't worry about being perfect any more. None of us should. We
should just enjoy life as it comes; it changes constantly.
Merry and Pippin -- That we all have some growing up to do, and just
because we do doesn't mean that we can't have some fun along the way.
Friendship matters, and sometimes, the willingness to give of ourselves
to others pays off in ways that nobody could anticipate, and return to
you in the most amazing way.
Today, when I got home, Mrs.Dr.G greeted me by saying, "Guess what you
got today." I had no idea what it could have been, when she handed me a
lovely card from a member here on the boards who had read that I was
having a tough time with my whole family being sick, and too much on my
plate (as we say) and decided to send me a note (and tea and cookies,
and Starbucks gift cards for both Me and the Mrs.) What a blessing, as
today had been very frustrating with computer tie-ups at work and more
insanity with the show opening in two and a half weeks. And here was a
dear, sweet friend dropping us a note and some gifts, and letting us
know that we are in her prayers. (((F))). You are such a dear. Hugs
from the whole (((Family von Gamgee)))
Frodo and Sam -- Faith and Friendship will get you through. Look at the
odds -- Frodo and Sam were not that impressive on paper. They didn't
have Magic like Gandalf, nor strenthg of arms like Boromir or lineage
like Aragorn. They were not skilled with weapons like Legolas and
Gimli. They were the least likely heroes that you could imagine --
Rustic folk, never travelled much, and small in stature. Nothing
remarkable really. And yet, they braved more than any, with less to
gain. They took on Sauron and won. They had strength of character, and
of will. They understood their place within society, and were ready to
do what was needed to protect the ones that they loved. They stuck to
the path, and offered to give up the burden to those they thought would
do better with it. And yet, when faced with the horror of Mordor, they
didn't give up. They had faith that their life had a purpose, and that
even as small and unimportant as they were, they could do thier part.
Frodo with his kindness toward Gollum gives us a vision of how we
should behave towards those that try our patience. And Sam, with this
steadfast dedication. He also teaches us that we should never
underestimate those around us. Those we know well can still surprise us.
As I said, this is not everything. Just a few fast ideas which have
sustained me throughout the dark times when things seemed grim. It is
no wonder that this book is rated as the most important in the
twentieth century. It is a great piece of literature.
Thank you all, for being a part of this community. I keep you all in my