“This will all make sense when I am older” ~Olaf
Lyrics from “When I’m Older” by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
The more time goes by, the more I am convinced that the makers of Frozen 2 could see the future. Every single thing in that movie has a direct application to the situation in which we find ourselves. (For other posts about this topic, click here.)
Olaf, the quintessential Shakespearean fool, sings a tongue-in-cheek song about growing up that I think can apply to us today. A story first:
Soon after Frozen 2 came out, it was the main topic of conversation in my primary music classrooms. As a primary school music teacher, I obviously started making connections between the brilliant music of Frozen 2 and things I could do in my curriculum.
One day, as I discussed Olaf’s song with first graders, I said the quote at the end of the song. Here’s how it went:
Me: Olaf sings, ‘When you’re older, absolutely, everything makes sense.’ First graders, is that true?
One girl: No, it just means you have more questions.
From the mouth of babes. . .
And fools, for that matter. In Shakespeare, there is a classic tradition. It can be seen at it’s best in King Lear. The tradition is one of the ‘wise fool.’ The person that nobody listens to because they’re supposed to be the dumb one. The inexperienced one, the comic relief, only there for laughs and amusement. The fool, though, very often is the one telling the truth in a more honest and candid way than anyone else.
That is Olaf. He’s the ‘wise fool’ that people barely pay attention to because he’s spouting off so much supposed nonsense that the truth gets lost.
Olaf, in his hit song, sings, “One day, when I’m old and wise, I’ll look back and realize, that these were all completely normal events.”
But they’re not. There is nothing normal about the situation that the brave travelers of Frozen 2 find themselves in. They are lost in an enchanted forest, battling spirits of nature, trying to break a decades-long curse and stay alive at the same time.
Olaf would probably have the same thing to say about our current world situation. He might say, “these are all completely normal events.” But they’re not.
It might be that one day, when we’re older, this will make sense. But it might not. It’s just something that happened. That doesn’t mean we run and hide. It means we face it. We face the uncertainty, we adapt, we “puzzle out our world and our place.”
The reality of our situation is that it doesn’t make sense. We don’t know what’s going to happen next. And that’s OK. Not everything is going to make sense. But it doesn’t have to make sense for us to take the right actions. To do the next right thing. To face our fear and use it to our advantage instead of letting it be our master. To look for how to find our way when we’re lost in this journey.
We live for each other. After you’ve done what you can for today, who else can you build up? What can you do for another human being? We can either show the best of ourselves or the worst of ourselves in today’s unprecedented times.
What are you doing so that others may live? What are you doing to bring some sense to life? How can you be the ‘wise fool’ that sees a need and responds to it without thought?
Originally published at http://runninginshadows.wordpress.com on April 22, 2020.