Some Disney movies are more real than we might think.
Even when they involve hair that becomes magical when a girl sings.
Tangled is one of my favorite Disney movies for so many reasons, but I think one of the things that is most appealing to me is the way Eugene falls in love with Rapunzel and finally cares about someone more than he cares about himself. At the end of the movie (if you haven’t seen it, 1. WHY? and 2. spoiler alert), Eugene is stabbed and about to die, and Rapunzel is going to save him with her hair but must never leave her pretend mother/wicked old lady if she does so. Eugene chops off her hair—knowing what his fate will be—so that Rapunzel can have her freedom, instead. (Thankfully, homeboy ends up living because her tear somehow saved him after that act of true love.)
And this reminds me a lot of real life.
I’ve seen a lot of examples of those “for the love” actions lately, though they didn’t involve magical healing powers and life-or-death situations. But I’m pretty sure they’re just as important.
I was at the pool over the weekend, and there was a man there with his two little daughters. Over the years, I’ve seen quite a few dads do goofy things for their kids (especially their daughters), and this guy was no exception. When he entered the water, he was informed that he was now a mermaid, and he didn’t take one second to question it. He instantly became a mermaid and was part of some alternative world that only those three knew about. It was adorable. That dad didn’t care what anyone else around him thought—he simply wanted his little girls to be happy, and the joy on their faces showed he had accomplished that for sure. He put aside his pride for the love, and it was beautiful.
I was at a bar with some friends not too long ago, and I overheard a conversation when I was walking past a group of guys. A few of them were making fun of their buddy for getting schooled in some arcade game by the gal I assumed is his girlfriend. He said something about it being embarrassing and then said, “But look how happy she is.” Based on the way he was looking at her, I’m going to say that fella is in love. And he couldn’t have cared less whether or not he won that silly game. He put aside his pride for the love, and it was precious.
My dad was out of town hunting with my uncle over the weekend, and my sister and my mom were planning to hang out on Saturday night. My sister asked me if I wanted to come, and I asked if they would have the USC-Alabama game on. She said they definitely would not (my sister doesn’t like watching football much). I tried to stress the importance of the game to her, but she wasn’t having it. A little bit later, she texted me to say they would have the game on and that I should come over when they got home from dinner. She didn’t even complain once the entire night about having to watch the game. It’s even the small things that matter. She put aside her wants for the love, and it was heartwarming.
There are a lot of times when it would be easier to be selfish and do the things we want to do, but it’s often in those moments that people need us to be there for them and put aside our original plans and do what they need us to do, instead—for the love. It can be humbling, and it can certainly be challenging, but it can also be absolutely worth it.
You make your daughters’ day. You see the person you love happy. You show your sister you care.
And those are moments that truly matter—because they’re genuinely done for the love.