September 2020: I read this essay and added commentary for Episode 382 of the Everything Voluntary podcast.
If you haven’t seen “The Greatest Showman” starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Zendaya, and more, you are missing out one of the best movies and musicals of our time. It’s mesmerizing and uplifting, a true tour de force, and has captured the hearts and minds of my entire family.
Every one of its ten songs is an absolute gem. But the one I’d like to bring to your attention is from the end of the movie titled, “From Now On”. Here it is in official audio form:
While it’s not the intended interpretation, the theme that has found its home in my mind is based on the chorus, and goes like this:
From now on: This voice will not be used to encourage violence against peaceful people.
From now on: These hands will not used to hit or strike fear in my children.
From now on: This body will not serve as a means for expropriation or indoctrination of others.
Let this promise in me start, Like an anthem in my heart!
From now on!
Alright so, it’s doesn’t rhyme, but oh well! One of the reasons that I engage in the work of writing and podcasting is to turn hearts and minds away from violent solutions to the problems they have with other people, with special emphasis on the parent-child relationship. Nothing validates my work more than when a parent tells me that I was instrumental in their own “from now on” moment of ceasing to use violent parenting tools. I was told that in my latest podcast conversation, and it warmed my heart.
It can be difficult internally and challenging to deal with opposition by friends and family when making these sorts of changes. But your children deserve your promise and anthem to never hit or strike fear in them again.
And when you move forward in partnership, the relationship you build and maintain will last the rest of your life paying dividends every single day. From now on!