The Next Right Thing

Disney’s Frozen 2 had some mixed reviews. One of my daughters who loved the original was unsure if she liked the the sequel as much as other children’s animated movie sequels. She thought it was heavier into magic than the original, but liked the music. She is a mother now herself, and will undoubtedly sing every Disney song to her babies. I loved hearing her and her three sisters as young adults, singing Disney songs while playing board games at the kitchen table.

I had a different reaction to Frozen 2 and felt that there was much allegory to a Christian life, whether it was intended or not. Analogies are not perfect, of course, but I saw aspects of virtue and the human experience in the characters. The lyrics to one of Anna’s songs in the movie, The Next Right Thing, were profound in light of then-to-be-future-events in the real world with the Covid-19 virus.

Anna believed her sister to be dead and she was now on a journey alone. She knew that she was in great danger.

I’ve seen dark before, but not like this
This is cold, this is empty, this is numb
The life I knew is over, the lights are out

Interesting that current events have been globally unprecedented, and have locked down millions of people around the world. Human lives have been detrimentally affected, and not by the virus itself.

Hello, darkness, I’m ready to succumb
I follow you around, I always have
But you’ve gone to a place I cannot find
This grief has a gravity, it pulls me down

Many people have been frightened by Covid-19. Scientists and doctors have different opinions. Countries have vastly different approaches. The United States is polarized even more, politically, and social media is rife with anger and ugliness. Unemployment has skyrocketed and businesses have closed.

But a tiny voice whispers in my mind
You are lost, hope is gone

Fear is paralyzing. In the movie just prior to this song Elsa addresses that fear is what cannot be trusted, not people different than us. When all seems confused or lost, how do we react positively?

But you must go on
And do the next right thing

We must decide what that next right thing is, baby step, inconsequential as it may seem. It leads us on.

Can there be a day beyond this night?
I don’t know anymore what is true
I can’t find my direction, I’m all alone

So many people feel hopelessness. Suicide rates are higher. How do we know what is true when there are so many different opinions and even experts disagree?

The only star that guided me was you
How to rise from the floor?

Anna believed that Elsa was dead, and had relied on her for so much wisdom. Our trust has been placed on experts, on the belief in the best government which cares for citizens, on a tangible world where education and intelligence are the best hope, where good triumphs over evil. Anna must now decide for herself.

“But it’s not you I’m rising for

Anna must go her journey alone, and feels a duty to save and take care of her people. In truth, we must each act based on our own choices insofar as we are able. We cannot always trust that good will happen, that leaders will do the right thing, that there will be a positive order in nature, on the earth–but we can choose to help another, we can choose to…

Just do the next right thing
Take a step, step again
It is all that I can to do
The next right thing

Those who are working, do your work as best you can. Mothers and fathers, love and care for your children. Those who are alone make the next healthy decision–even if it is a glass of water, a bite of food, a moment of rest, a medication to take, a bedroom to straighten. Take one day at a time, one hour, one minute.

I won’t look too far ahead
It’s too much for me to take
But break it down to this next breath, this next step
This next choice is one that I can make
So I’ll walk through this night
Stumbling blindly toward the light
And do the next right thing
And, with it done, what comes then?
When it’s clear that everything will never be the same again

Then I’ll make the choice to hear that voice
And do the next right thing


Yes, Mom of ten, plus. Ten of our own, host-Mom of foreign exchange students and au pairs, and other wonderful young men and women. The latter were the direct influence of our special needs daughter, Mary Pat, and they have blessed us in innumerable ways. Past prime is okay; so many life experiences cause one to reflect on things learned and cultivate an attitude of gratitude.