I’m probably the last Marvel Fan on Earth to finally see this movie in theaters (!) But I finally did and I loved it tremendously.
So much so, I found parallels between this fun movie and real life situations.
Here are some life lessons we can learn from your friendly neighborhood Spiderman:
1. Trust Your Senses
My favorite part of the movie was near the end when Mysterio placed the illusion of a dark hallway all around Spiderman. Peter had to fight killer drones without being able to see them. Spidey Sense!
The lesson here is that sometimes we know something is going on but we can’t see it. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. What is does mean : if you know something is coming for you, don’t wait for it to shoot you before you react.
This applies to good things and bad things. You just have to trust your instincts and react based on what you expect to be coming for you. The keyword here is TRUST. I think most people trust themselves less than they realize. They wait for concrete evidence to prove what they already know to be true. That’s how you get behind in the game of life.
2. Stay Neutral With New People
Obviously everyone wants to put their best foot forward in their personal public relations. It’s a courtesy to allow people to present themselves however they like. But, wait a while before becoming emotionally attached to people- in a good way or a bad way.
When Peter was so quick to give Mysterio the Edith Glasses, I was immediately like, “you just met this guy, Peter!”
And then, I was proven rightly skeptical minutes later.
I struggle with this as well, as I am a naturally trusting person. But, wisdom tells me to wait a while before letting anyone into my heart or emotions. It does take a little while to really know someone’s intentions.
Optimism says that everyone is their authentic self at all times. But if you are an extraordinarily special person and/or you experience a unique position in life, it pays to recognize that some people may be extra kind because of the benefits that come from being on your good side. Don’t be so humble that you’re an easy target to be taken advantage of.
For the record, I appreciated the compassion that the introductory Mysterio showed to Peter. It actually really moved me because of how vulnerable Peter was as a 16 year old. And, Nick Fury was being kind of mean. But that takes us to the next point:
3. People Who Are Harsh Are Not Necessarily Your Enemy
Do not make the mistake of being vulnerable to people who you don’t know very well. This makes it easier to deal with harsh personalities because they don’t know you personally, anyway.
However, like Nick Fury, some people will know what you’re capable of. And they may expect you to live up to your strengths. That doesn’t make them your enemy.
As a strong person, you cannot be forced into living in a role that you don’t want to. Not many people have the power that Nick Fury does to completely rearrange your life to fit their needs.
But think about this: if someone is pushing you to be your strongest self, they might really need you as a source of strength in their life. They may not put it that way but that’s what it comes down to.
Peter was conflicted and probably dealing with PTSD. You can also have your own reasons for avoiding certain responsibilities.
It’s a privilege, not a right, to be able to choose what you carry the responsibility for.
4. Someone Is Watching You
Play yourself average if you want but someone is noticing you. MJ figured out who Spiderman was, but she got lucky because of the concrete proof that she picked up from the Jinn battle site.
Someone is probably watching you, too. The difference is that their conclusions are probably based on assumptions rather than actual fact. For example, someone may seem like a “mean person” but if they never see you doing something mean then the assumption is not based in fact.
For that reason, the lesson is to always live according to your personal integrity. Anything people assume is likely to be based off of their own personal experiences. You know your heart the best. Go with what you know to be true.
5. Believe In Your Friends
It was a little annoying to hear people say that Happy worked for Spiderman.
I get it, it was a joke. But I didn’t care for it.
Maybe that’s because I recognized the respect and care that Happy has for Peter.
Peter really needed a friend and that’s who came through for him.
Of course, his teenage friends, too. As a matter of fact, Peter has some good people behind him.
Ned trusts Peter seamlessly and supports his decisions without asking for an upfront explaination.
MJ also has Peter’s back against insults and other things that poke at Peter’s vulnerable moments.
Happy knows Peter is smart and trusts him to do the right thing. The added boost here is that Tony Stark vouched for Peter as well. But all that is made possible by the fact that Peter has integrity as a bottom line.
It is really refreshing to have people that you can trust with your secrets and not have to worry about them using it against you.
I pity anyone who doesn’t have the ability to keep others secrets. That means that they do not have the ability to be a true friend.
6. Being Outnumbered Is An Illusion
Okay so the hundreds of killer drones were real. But Peter didn’t have to destroy all of them to win.
What he did have to do: fight against all of them anyway.
All of these super hero movies appeal to me because the character trait of courage appeals to me. Courage is being aware of the risk and doing it anyway.
If you fight as hard as you can, you can win the situation sooner than you may think. I imagine that Peter would have fought every single drone if he needed to. But he didn’t need to because he fought against enough of them to win against all of them.
Here, we don’t even have to talk about physically fighting anyone externally. Here can we talk about the Man vs. Man conflict.
There can be tons of traits, flaws and insecurites that you have that you want to change about yourself. If you put your energy into changing just one or two of those things, you may find that the other insecuries disappear easier than you can imagine.
But, be courageous. Don’t give up because you’re outnumbered. Remember the privilege of being able to choose your responsibilities? Sometimes that choice is a synonym for being Courageous vs. Being a Coward.
Well now, that’s all 6! Can you relate to any of these life lessons? Let me know!
If I were to add something at the end, a 7th life lesson : Technology won’t save us from making dumb decisions.