This charming short requires little explanation. In this imagining of the origins of the Loch Ness Monster, poor Nessie is kicked out of her home by a self-centered developer. Instead of receiving sympathy from those around her, she is instead told to tough it out with the words, “Chin up now! Pip pip!” As I watched it, I could only think how heartless these creatures were to poor Nessie. A little solidarity and friendship could go a long way. But poor Nessie is all alone in her sorrow. Eventually, she breaks down and lets out all her sorrow. She cries for days and days with the result that she has made herself a new home.
Historical inaccuracies aside (and there are OH SO MANY), this little parable conveys a real truth of life. We are not encouraged to feel our negative emotions. On July 2 of this year I wrote a blog called “The Power of Sadness” after watching “Inside Out”. It is my most highly read blog. A fifth of the people who come to my page find that blog first. They find it by searching the word ‘sadness’. I tried searching that way but didn’t find it easily. It makes me wonder how many articles people have read about sadness before they find my blog. That’s a lot of sadness all at once. I wonder how many people take to the internet to find answers to their problems because they, like Nessie, have no one to share their troubles with. If that isn’t sadness, I don’t know what is.
There are two lessons in “The Ballad of Nessie”. The obvious one is stated by the narration “Don’t be afraid to cry. Sometimes through our tears we find a better way.” The second is more subtle. Not only should we respect our own tears, but we should be respectful of others’ tears as well. We should be present with those who cry, without judgement or expectation. No one should have to be alone in their grief hoping for a word of comfort from the internet. While sometimes someone does need to cry a lake of tears, they do not need to do it alone.