“You can’t help anyone by hiding. … What good is all your power if you don’t use it to help the people that you love?”
– Swift Wind, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
Season 1, Episode 12, “Light Hope”
Have you ever noticed how stories crafted for kids can still have plenty of lessons to offer even full-grown adults?
When Swift Wind (a talking, flying horse with a horn) says this, he’s talking to Adora, the main protagonist of the show who has inherited the ancient mantle of the mighty She-Ra. She has quickly become a beacon of hope and defiance for the valiant rebels fighting against the evil Horde. Yet, a few mistakes have been made, and losses have been felt, and the dearest friend of her childhood has made her feel that she holds others back. Oh, and she’s learned that her predecessor apparently went nuts and cursed the world (which goes into spoilers).
So, Adora is momentarily convinced that everyone would be better off without her.
I’m willing to bet that sounds familiar to most people. We’ve all felt that from time to time, I think. I know I certainly have.
But Swift Wind convinces her to come back to her friends, the friends who are still, at that moment, trying to help her. He points out that hiding, away from her troubles and away from her friends, helps no one. She has power, but it’s only as useful as she makes it to be, and how better to use it than by helping those closest to her? Trying not to use it at all, out of fear and guilt, won’t help her friends at all. It’ll just leave them without her, and without anything she might have been able to do for them.
Doing nothing does no good.
It may avoid harm and pain, for the moment, but maybe not. Maybe the pain comes anyway. Hm, wait, that reminds me of another quote, a famous one… something about “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men and women to do nothing.”
Yes, it’s hard. And it’s painful sometimes. It takes strength to endure when things go wrong, while it takes nothing at all to do… nothing at all. But if we want to help, to make things better, that is, by definition, doing something.
Now, I rush to add that there is a difference between “doing something” and “doing something wise.”
But my point is, whatever we do, we have to eventually do something.
We have to stop hiding, stop withholding, and stop convincing ourselves that we can’t do anything right.
The world is not “better off” without us, and neither are the people we love.