This started as a comment on the “Don’t be a Prick” thread, but the more I think about it, the more perfect I find the analogy. My daughter is watching Shrek this morning; the first one, about Lord Farquaat and his attempts to perfect his kingdom of Duloc. Of course the hero of the movie is the ogre Shrek. Isn’t it interesting how in movies it’s the non-comformists who are always the heroes? Not so in life, I’m afraid. Every community moves towards conformity and group-think in one way or another. It’s what Carolyn Myss and Stuart Wilde refer to as the “tribal” mind. Non-conformity invites shunning and shaming behavior from the enforcers of tribal norms.

I’ve actually been observing the shunning and shaming of Parker, with increasing horror, for some months now, and assumed she’d be banned sooner or later. Sooner it is. Parker certainly can be a bit of an ogre. No argument. I can see why she might push people’s buttons. She’s certainly pushed mine on occasion. But having one’s buttons pushed is part of life. People abrade each other. I don’t know how to break it you folks, but life was not designed to be comfortable.
The message of Shrek is both simple and profound. Life cannot be made perfect. That is it’s beauty. We grow through our interactions with others, which constantly test our limits and our preconceptions and throw us out of our comfort zone. The quest for perfect harmony invites tyranny and comes at the expense of liberty.

So, my daughter is watching Shrek today. She does so often. We got her the boxed set a while ago, because, in addition to being very clever and entertaining, these movies teach a value system that we would very much like instill in her. We want her to grow up respecting that people come in a range of shapes, sizes, and personality types, and that true beauty is in imperfection. For my part, I’m enjoying the soundtrack in the background as I drink my morning coffee and wonder which of us unique, fairy tale creatures will be consigned to the swamp next.

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