What is the price for aiming too high? And can a man really change his stars? Or are our lives defined by the circumstance we come from? Can we reach above them? And do we really need to pay a price for trying to reach our dreams?
If I was to pick my favourite kind of story, it would be the type where people dream big. Despite the laughter and depreciation they earn from the people around them, they carry on – and succeed. Against all odds.
They are my favourite stories because they inspire me to carry on dreaming big, too. For if they could do it, surely I can too.
A Knight’s Tale, a fun, not-so-period-period comedy is one of the purest examples of such a story. A really simple one in fact but wrapped in a very fun packaging.
William Thatcher (Heath Ledger), a son of a thatcher who’s been in service of a noble man for most of his life, has a very simple dream indeed – he wants to be a knight, just like his master and become a famous Jousting Champion.
A son of a thatcher to become a knight? Who ever heard of such a nonsense..
However, William is not about to give up his dream. He would not let such little insignificant detail like not being of noble blood get in the way. And so when his master dies unexpectedly in the middle of a tournament, William seizes his chance.
Backed by his new acquaintance, Geoffrey Chaucer, who provides him with a false birth certificates, he becomes Sir Ulrich von Lichtenstein and sets on a journey of victories. He quickly becomes a hero for all the little boys, just like he once was.
Now if you haven’t seen the film, you need to know that knights who took part in the jousting tournaments where (apparently 😉) something like rock stars of those times. They had fans screaming in the streets with their erbs painted on their faces and all that. On the tribunes the crowds would sing Queen’s We Will Rock You and some fast food refreshments would be sold there, too. Oh, how much I love the film!
While set in the historic settings, it has so many (genius!) modern aspects – such as Jocelyn‘s (Shannyn Sossamon) very daring wardrobe or David Bowie’s Golden Years played on the medieval ball. Oh – and it’s got female blacksmith, too 😉
I’ve seen the film so many times when I was a teenager that it’s hard for me to count it. I was a huge Heath Ledger fan, and this particular movie was by far my favourite of his. He was too adorable in this one and together with the newcomer, Paul Bettany as Geoffrey Chaucer (bless him in that role!) the film was a hit and not just in my home.
However, what struck me when I watched it few weeks back after many years, was that part where William‘s false identity is uncovered.
The same people who were cheering on him just moments ago, for whom he’s been a hero are here now bewildered and happy to throw anything they’ve got in his face. He lied. He tried raise above his status, he tried to change his stars. And that’s unforgivable.
Isn’t it funny? How people love to see the fallen hero? Sometimes much more than they love to see them rise. Boy, do they enjoy to see them fall!
It’s one of the human traits that makes me most sad.
People love to see others fail. As if somehow it proved them that it’s not worth trying. As if somehow it was unforgivable to try and reach above your current status, to reach for the stars.
Like if trying to change your stars was something that’s not allowed because it only means you think you’re better than the rest.
I don’t what it’s like in the rest of the world, but here in the Czech Republic, it definitely is one of the most common traits and one that I’ve come despise so much. (Funny enough, the film was set shot here in Prague 😀 ).
Why can’t we all cheer upon each other? Why do we constantly need to put people and their dreams down just because we don’t believe in them or because we’re too lazy to do anything about our own lives – so much that we persuade ourselves there’s nothing wrong with them and wanting more is just being greedy.
Why do other people despise those that don’t settle…?
And when you fail, boy do they enjoy it. It’s their proof they were right. You were asking for too much.
But you know what? You are NEVER asking for too much. And failure is so much better than never trying anything! The only thing a failure means is that this way wasn’t the right one and you need to try something else. Failure only means you were curious enough – and brave enough – to try and explore all the options.
The fact that this one did not work out doesn’t mean ANYTHING. Sometimes, even a seemingly wrong decision that brings not quite pleasant consequence can lead you to your destination.
It’s the way you accept those consequences, the way you accept the so called failure that will define your future success.
William lied about his ancestry. But he only lied because in his heart he believed he was destined to be a jousting champion. It was the one thing he loved – and was good at. And in those times he had no other option than to lie so he could prove his real worth. Without it, he would never get the chance.
And prove his worth he did. Especially when he took full responsibility for his own actions and faced the charges. He could have run. But he chose not to. Perhaps he was just too proud. And perhaps he just wasn’t the one to run away… not from his actions, nor from his dreams.
He went out there and faced it all. He faced the people he disappointed. The people who did not hesitate to let him know it’s not allowed to try to change your stars.
However, it was that, which in the end earned him the much desired title once and for all. It was that which lead him to his dream. All that thanks to his actions. To his honesty. The actions that were lead by his heart. He DID change his stars after all. Because you know what? Anything, ANYTHING is possible if you set your heart to it.
One can say A Knight’s Tale is nothing but a fairytale. But aren’t fairytales full of hidden lessons? Aren’t fairytales, in their simplicity, the best kind of inspiration?
You may feel too insignifact to make a real difference or to succeed in whatever you set your heart to. But truth is, if it’s something you’ve been called to do, the whole Universe will conspire to help you. Even the most unlikely of things may happen to help you reach your dreams. Please, believe it. Not without lessons learned along the way of course 😉 But you CAN get there. You will. Because you CAN change the stars. Anyone can.
If you’re still unsure how if or how to follow your heart, read last weeks post Heart vs. Mind!
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