Wonder Woman came out on my husband’s birthday and we went to a 5 Star Lounge (my first time in one!) to see it. I’ve never been served Dippin’ Dots so fancily! And then we saw it again at a regular AMC yesterday. I love this movie! I never had anything against Wonder Woman, but if you asked me before who my favorite superhero was, she’d probably never come to my mind for even the top 3…but that might be changing now that I’ve watched this movie! In today’s post I want to highlight 9 things we can learn from it.
**Warning: this post contains spoilers. I suggest waiting to read it until after you’ve seen the movie.**
1. Even when everyone tells you no or that you can’t, you must not give up on what you believe.
Diana’s mom tells her from a young age that she could not train. She showed her the “god killer” and told her only the fiercest among them could wield it…and that wasn’t her. Steve tells her she can’t save everyone. He tells her “this is no man’s land. It’s not something you can cross” (which reminds me of Eowyn from The Lord of the Rings responding “I am no man”). She is told she cannot go to the gala. Ludendorff tells her she is no match for him.
But does she listen? Nope! She doesn’t let a “no” or a “you can’t do this” get in her way of doing what she believes she should and can do.
2. We can’t save everyone.
Steve tells her this, but she refuses to let the people suffer without help. She enters no man’s land and her actions lead them to victory. However, the people she saves end up being murdered by poisonous gas the very next day. Should she not have taken a stand to help these people? We don’t know what the future holds, but as Steve’s dad told him, “you can do something or nothing.”
Man, this concept of “we can’t save everyone” is one of the toughest lessons I’ve had to learn. And my INFJ heart still hurts over it. I so desperately want to help everyone, but we can’t…at least not on our own. However, we can make a difference by doing what we can. By doing something.
3. But we can do SOMETHING.
I love how significant Steve’s words and actions were, but Diana doesn’t understand the gravity of it until her worldview is shattered. She questions why Steve would go to war if he doesn’t want to and he tells her that “you can either do something or nothing. I already tried nothing.” And before the final battle when Diana is heartbroken that humanity is choosing evil by their own volition, Steve once again reminds her that you can either do something or nothing. When Diana isn’t sure if she wants to help a people so undeserving, Steve doesn’t waste time springing back into action. Through the entire movie Steve, though well knowing the darkness that dwells within his people (and within his very own soul!), has chosen to take action to help an undeserving world. Realizing this, shown even more clearly by Steve’s willingness to die to save numerous lives, Diana decides what she believes and where she stands.
4. “It’s not about what they deserve, but what you believe.”
Diana embarks on her mission being told by her mother that mankind does not deserve her. But off she goes, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to end all wars by herself. When Diana believes she has killed Ares, the men continue their war and this devastates her. She had believed the whole time that mankind was naturally pure and only became corrupt because of Ares. We later learn that all Ares has done is whisper inspiration for weapons; he never forces them to use them. When given the choice and the means, humankind chose the sinful paths on their own. Diana comes to the conclusion that her mother was right: men are corrupt and don’t deserve her help. But Steve, who has spent more time among men than Diana, tries to convince her that it’s not about what they deserve. They must still do something.
She finally takes action to stop Ares, but the god of war tries to get her to side with him, telling her that men are ugly, weak, and corrupt.
She responds, “They’re everything you say, but much more.”
“They don’t deserve your protection!” says Ares.
Diana boldly declares, “It’s not about what they deserve, but what you believe. I believe in love.”
The truth is that evil brings about more evil, but good can inspire good. Unless if you’re a perfect daughter of the gods, like Diana, we all deserve death for our less-than-pure actions and hearts. So we shouldn’t focus on what people deserve, but on love.
**Unless if you’re a god of war trying to bring destruction to all of mankind. 😉
5. There is strength in knowing who you are.
“You doubt yourself. You’re stronger than you believe.” –Antiope to Diana.
Hippolyta tried to keep Diana from knowing who she really was in order to protect her, but Diana had the most strength whenever she realized who she was, what she believed, and what her true purpose was. Diana is discouraged when her “god killer”, the sword, disintegrates upon impacting Ares like it was nothing. However, when she realizes who she truly is (she is the god killer sent to protect) and what she believes, she find the strength within her to defeat the powerful god of war.
6. “Everyone is fighting their own battles.”
“Everyone is fighting their own battles, just as you are fighting yours, Diana.” This is what Sameer tells Diana when she comments on the fact that Charlie talks about shooting but never shoots. He also says we can’t always be what we want to be all the time. Sameer wants to be an actor, but he says his skin color prevents that. Charlie “sees ghosts”, as The Chief says. Not all battles are good versus evil or soldier against soldier. Some are even unseen. You never know what someone else is going through. We must take that into consideration before we speak, act, or judge.
7. We should appreciate and acknowledge the good in others.
I love how Diana does this. Clearly they would not have won the battle without her, but yet when they praise her saying “you did this”, she responds “we did.” When Charlie says that perhaps they’d be better off without him, Diana gives him a bright, genuine smile and says, “who will sing for us?” She values the courage and good deeds of her comrades, despite their criminal past. She is confident in who she is, but she is not prideful. She gives credit where credit is due and makes a point to encourage the good in others.
8. People always have a choice (and we can’t choose that for them).
In Diana’s ending speech at the close of the movie, she says that she used to want to save the world but she learned something. There is both good and darkness within everyone and everyone has a choice about which they act upon. “No hero can choose that.” She believes that “only love can save the world.”
We cannot force people to change or to choose good, but we can control our own actions. We may not be able to change people, but we can be an influence for good. We can love. We can choose to love. It is love that has the potential to change hearts. And world change starts with heart change.
9. Love is a verb.
Ok, I’m just going to say it because I know you all thought it. Diana’s power lines in the movie, “I believe in love” and “only love can save the world,” sound incredibly cheesy. It’s only once you start fleshing out the idea that it becomes incredibly profound and powerful.
And I believe that is because love should be a verb.
When you say things like “I believe in love” or “love can save the world” but leave it at that, then yeah, that’s super cheesy and doesn’t really help anyone. However, when you put love into ACTION, that’s when life change and world change can begin to happen.
And that is the essence of Wonder Woman!
She chooses to save the world, not because they deserve saving, but because she loves them. She puts herself in harms way. She goes through physical and emotional pain to do good in the world as an act of love.
And I think that’s the biggest life lesson we can take away from this movie. People don’t deserve it and words don’t mean much, so it is only once we decide to use love as a verb that we can have a positive impact on our dark world.