Friday, March 16, 2012

An Open Letter to Lucy Lawless

Dear Lucy— 

I felt the need to compose a letter thanking you for being the remarkable human being that you are. It was [as it always is] both an honor and a pleasure talking with you during your Green Peace protest against Shell Oil. I've interviewed, gotten to know and became friends with a sleuth of actors and actresses in my lifetime. An entire lifetime... and I can say with the utmost sincerity that I have never felt compelled to call any one of them a hero. But thanks to your selfless actions aboard that ship, I can finally bestow the title of hero upon YOU... with great pride and admiration. As much as I love Fiona Hutchison [as we are sisters], I CANNOT see her boarding that ship and climbing to incredible heights to send a message to Shell Oil, just one of the many corporate giants who prey upon this planet like parasites. You are a hero Lucy, not just to me or millions upon millions of fans all over the world... but for those generations yet to come. 

I know for a fact that you do not have an egotistical cell in your entire body and that you would totally disagree with everything I am writing. You would tell me in that infamous Kiwi accent, "Bridget, you've gone completely mad because I'm not special. I'm just a Mom who cares about her children and the planet." But what you do not see... is that you ARE so much more than special. You, my humble friend, are far more heroic than the character you played for six seasons. Xena Warrior Princess, sword in hand, couldn't come close to who you REALLY are on her best day.

You see Lucy, by nature; the United States of America is a very pessimistic society. We seem to have great difficulty believing in the good nature of most people. Everyone has skeletons buried in their closets. We seem to have the need to dig them out. How many times have we heard the words uttered "It seems too good to be true they must be hiding something". So we take whatever heroes we may have and tear them down. We are more concerned with tragedy than we are with hope. You defy this logic  and in doing so, you have set an example, a true precedence for the rest of us. We need to consider the process of learning to add courage to our faith.

Many people have faith, or at least they say that they do, but it does not seem to reveal itself in the outworking of their lives. The problem is the absence of courage and "courage is the muscle that faith uses to hold its ground." So many people today do not seem to have the ability to courageously live out their faith in humanity and what is best for our future. Now I am not talking about those instantaneous heroes who make the headlines because they happened to be at the right place at the right time. I'm talking about TRUE heroes like you Lucy... who make daily conscious decisions to respond courageously to life's dilemmas. The Webster's Dictionary defines courage as: "mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty." Courage is putting our faith into action, adding sweat to our convictions, doing what is hard to do because we know it needs to be done. This is precisely what you did, without hesitation. 

Perhaps the simple acts of kindness that we all perform need to be taken just a little further. Maybe all it takes is the belief in ourselves, and the courage to face reality fearlessly. We all want to make a difference, to be someone Lucy... but you have given all of us an example to follow, to believe. This is my challenge to everyone who reads this, become a hero to others. Have the courage to stand up for your convictions and stop living in fear. 

And Lucy? Please accept my compliments and this letter as a testament to what it means to be a hero and a heartfelt thank you for your wisdom and courage.

Much Love,
Bridget Petrella

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