Lessons from Wonder Woman 1984

What a wonderful movie! The one that reminds you those that make you reflect and teach you something good, from beginning to end.

It begins with a lesson that not all understand or accept because most of the teachings related to ethical and moral principles are not popular: Shortcuts invite to evade responsibilities, commitments and promises. The Sages of the Talmud teach that a journey becomes longer when walked with shortcuts, and shorter when walked the longer way, the way is is. Thus, they stress the worth of learning all possible aspects of life, while admonishing against learning less than what we should.

The more we learn about life, the more we can handle its difficulties. Marvel Woman had the chance to learn that doing things right is the way to succeed and accomplish any goal, because the way one does things matters more than winning or losing at the end.

If one does not like the way he/she is, instead of “whishing” to become like someone else by “magic”, one has to walk the path that leads to whatever he/she wants to become, no matter how hard and demanding it may be such task.

Be careful about what you wish, particular when it will be immediately granted to you, without anticipating what it comes with it. This invites to reflect on what are one’s priorities, what one wishes or desires and what one needs, which reminds us the undecided customer in the pharmacy.

The clerk asked him, “What do you desire, sir?” The man replied, “To kiss Scarlett Johansson’s lips”. The clerk rephrased his question, and said to the customer, “I mean, sir, what do you want?” The man answered, “The last model of a Ferrari testarossa.” After those answers, the clerk changed the tone of his voice. Laconic, he said to the customer, “Sir, what do you need?” Visibly disillusioned, the man replied, “A toothbrush”.

Like in many movies, most of the story refers of the evil, damage and destruction people do when they are morally unable to handle power; and much worse, too much power. This teaches us that power does not corrupt people but already corrupted people corrupt power.

Even when granted, the most honest desire is not true or real if not based on truth and reality. This makes us reflect on how much can one give up in the name of truth. This happened to Marvel Woman, who got her wholehearted “wish” inadvertently.

Then, how corrupted people with too much power can be stopped? You figure it out. Yet, if not, the lesson to learn is to prevent that to happen. A proper education based on ethical and moral principles can prevent or at least diminish the probabilities for character flaws that may lead to the worse. The kind of education Marvel Woman received when she was an impetus girl who believed that shortcuts help to win a long-run competition where the others do not take them.

The answer to that question is the most beautiful message of “Wonder Woman 1984”: Returning to what one truly loves, either his/her own essence and identity that make one good, or returning to those who matter the most that makes him/her feel good about who they are, regardless what the wish, want or need.

Love is what really matters in us, individually and collectively. The villain learned this lesson and gave up the enormous power he gained by taking the easiest of all shortcuts, a stone that grants all possible wishes. His love, regardless his moral flaws, was more powerful that all the power he immorally gained. The villainess had to walk the not always easy path to self-respect and appreciation that leads to accept and embrace who she was as good as others, no matter who “perfect” or “better” they may be; because what truly matters is what is good in us.

Thus, we learn that goodness is not goodness just because; and love is not love, just because. Goodness and love are what they are because of the moral and ethical principles inherent in them. Otherwise, they become the relative object of people’s wishes and desires, at the expense and detriment of others.

Kudos to the writers of the screenplay for such marvelous lessons. A standing ovation to Gal Gadot who made Marvel Woman in this movie the resilient and relentless heroine who fights for the goodness that makes us free from the temptations and the attaching strings of ego’s fantasies and illusions out of beliefs and feelings of lack; for only goodness can dissipate them and fill their void with it.

What a wonderful movie!

About the Author
Ariel Ben Avraham was born in Colombia (1958) from a family with Sephardic ancestry. He studied Cultural Anthropology in Bogota, and lived twenty years in Chicago working as a radio and television producer and writer. He emigrated to Israel in 2004, and for the last fourteen years has been studying the Chassidic mystic tradition, about which he writes and teaches. Based on his studies, he wrote his first book "God's Love" in 2009. He currently lives in Kochav Yaakov.
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