The Nightingale is a beautiful tale about love and friendship by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The story follows a spoilt Emperor who preferred a mechanical song bird over a real-life Nightingale. In the end, the selflessness of the Nightingale helped restore the emperor’s health.
Although The Nightingale was written 175 years ago, this life-giving friendship rings more true than ever in today’s society where friendship is measured by ‘likes’ and how many people respond to our posts. It’s time to ask ourselves the tough question regarding the friendships we have – are they life-giving friendships?
There are beautiful lessons on friendship that one can learn from The Nightingale.
True friends let each other be themselves
The emperor selfishly kept the Nightingale in a cage so that he could be entertained daily by her singing, but it only made her miserable. He eventually learns that their friendship worked better when they each had freedom to be themselves and he was happier for it.
2. True friends will always be with you whatever happens
When the Nightingale heard that the Emperor was dying, it quickly flew over and sang for him, even though it meant facing the risk of being put in a cage again. The Nightingale was only concerned with giving comfort to the Emperor.
True friendship is forgiving
When the Emperor received a new mechanical songbird, the Nightingale was forgotten. Of course, the Nightingale was sad and very likely felt hurt, but she was quick to forgive and flew to the Emperor’s aid when he needed her.
A true friend loves at all times. Regardless of what the Emperor did to the Nightingale, the bird still loved him.
This timeless fairytale classic is rich in values that today’s digital society may have forgotten. Although The Nightingale presented by The Little Company is a production for children, parents will appreciate the deeper lessons embedded in the story.
The Nightingale runs from 7 March 2018 at KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT.