One of my guilty pleasures is Jane Austen, and two of my favourite scenes from Jane Austen movies are when Edward Ferrers (Hugh Grant) tells Elinor Dashwood (Emma Thompson) that he isn’t, after all, married, and she makes that amazing “uhguffle” sound, of relief.
My second favourite scene (any version) is when George Knightly chastises (“badly done Emma, badly done”) Emma Woodhouse for snapping a witty retort that ends up insulting and hurting a friend. George chastises Emma even though she will take the criticism badly, he knows that she will get angry, hate him for it, but he criticizes her none the less because he loves her deeply, and knows she is better than that.
This is my favourite version of the scene ...
Now why am I bringing this to your attention? Well, to give you a bit of background, as I’ve mentioned before probably 90% of my closest friends are female, I have many of them, and they tend to be of a type: outspoken, witty, very clever, vivacious, go-getters. Most are outwardly seem super-confident (although often vulnerable beneath), and although a couple are shy, most like to be center of attention. They are often very willful. I love them all dearly. But sometimes being outspoken they go across the line. One of my friends behaved recently in a way that could have consequences, and would likely end up hurting people. She didn’t really mean to, but that’s the way she is, sometimes there’s collateral damage. And so I went all Mr Knightley and told her “badly done … badly done”. But it was because I cared. This made me start thinking about the all times when I should have called friends on what they were doing, when I should have spoken up, but I didn’t. Sometimes I thought I should just let things slide, sometimes I was worried about offending, or starting an argument. Well if a friend doesn’t appreciate when you are trying to help them, or to get them to see another point of view, even if they don’t like what they hear, well they aren’t really that good a friend after all.
Albus Dumbledore wisely said "There are all kinds of courage. It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends." If you can’t stand up to a friend when they are doing something that will reflect badly on them, or when they are doing something that could hurt others when they don’t mean to, well what kind of friend are you anyway. I’ve really appreciated it when friends have called me on some of the things I’ve done, even though it might have pissed me off at the time, it increased my respect for them. Boy, do I need reining in on my behavior at times! So if you’re a friend of mine and I see you doing something that might hurt you, or hurt others, don’t make me get all Mr Knightly on your ass !