I am just finishing the reading of Jane Austen’s book titled, “Emma.” The heroine of the story, Emma Woodhouse, is a somewhat spoiled, young rich lady. Although showing some compassion to those of a ‘lower’ societal position than her own and never to be so arrogant as to assume herself above her own proper place, she certainly is a center character whose flaws are quite obvious to the reader, if not to herself.
Occasionally, and most strongly near the end of the novel, Miss Woodhouse is provided a bit of a ‘mirror’ of herself by a friend who refuses to believe that her insulting and hurtful behavior towards others is the person whom she truly is or desires to be. “I thought better of you,” he says.
Finally, allowing herself to see the self-centered person she has become and the hurt she has brought to others through her behavior, Emma is set on a course of humble repentance and restoration.
It is good for all of us to take a moment to look upon our own reflections from time to time and do an examination. Are we truly behaving in the manner that fits the person we desire to be, and in general, see ourselves to be?
Being privy, as the reader, to see both the inward and outward perspectives of Emma Woodhouse, we find that it is quite possible to appear cruel, self-centered and coldhearted, although that is not truly your nature. If we are truly honest with ourselves (or perhaps I must speak only for myself), we know that we do not always behave towards others as we intend. We have our excuses of good intent and busy lives.
Emma’s self-reflection has caused me to take some small glances in the mirror myself. My last blog post related to the encouragement I received from those who have commented on my online writing. In response to the post, I receive a comment from one of my faithful blog readers. However, after feeling my own warm glow of knowing that someone indeed had read the words that I had written, I realized that I had seldom returned the favor to this blogger or to many others whom I truly do appreciate in my heart.
So, this week, I took the time to read, and yes, comment on, at least a few of my favorite blogs. Forgive me, please, my fellow writers for so often neglecting to bless you with either a visit to your page or evidence of my reading. I know your comments are treasures to me, regardless of whether they are in support of my opinions or not. The fact that someone has taken the time to read my words and leave evidence of their visit is an honor which I shall never take for granted. It is a blessing that many ‘unknown’ writers of the past seldom had access to.
I hope you will ‘think better of me,’ once again, and that my behavior will better match the intents of my heart.
btw: You can download “Emma” free to your Kindle from Amazon.