In a previous post, I wrote about the 4 Life Lessons learnt from The Fellowship of the Ring. To continue with the series, here’s the list from The Two Towers (the second book of J.R. R. Tolkien’s series The Lord of The Rings).
1.In one of the scenes, Treebeard says, “I take more kindly to Elves than to others: it was the Elves that cured us of dumbness long ago, and that was a great gift that cannot be forgotten, though our ways have parted since.”
Lesson Learnt; Respect every person who’s taught you something, even if it’s a tiny nugget of knowledge.
Unfortunately, I went to a school where a lot of students had little respect for teachers. They would make fun of them, disrupt class in one way or another. Yet you just have to come across a seven year old kid who couldn’t understand what one plus one means to realize the great gift teachers have given you. Everything you know, you’ve learned somehow. Whether it’s a parent or a friend or a lowly-paid teacher…appreciate the people who taught you things. The gift of knowledge is something that we take for granted, so let’s stop for a couple of minutes to appreciate all the people who invested their time and energy into teaching us.
2.In one of the scenes where Frodo and Sam are debating on whether to climb the rock edge or not, Sam volunteers to go first. His idea? “It’s only sense: put the one lowest as is most likely to slip. I don’t want to come down atop of you and knock you off. No sense in killing two with one fall.”
Lesson Learnt; Hope for the best but plan for the worse.
A lot of times we experience analysis paralysis because of the uncertainty that shrouds a certain decision. One way to overcome that fear and act is to acknowledge the worse case scenario and take a step forward.
3. This paragraph; “It was Sam’s first view of a battle of Men against Men, and he did not like it much. He was glad that he could not see the dead face. He wondered what the man’s name was and where he came from; and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home…”
Lesson Learnt; To humanize other people.
In our age and time, it’s very easy to stereotype people and label them as either good or evil, even though we recognize our own personal complexity or ‘greyness’. In his book, “Empathy,” Roman Krznaric writes, “Empathy withers and dies when we fail to acknowledge the humanity of other people – their individuality and uniqueness- and treat them as beings of less than equal worth to ourselves.” This is such a relevant idea now with the whole talk of Trump banning Muslims from entering the United States if he becomes president.
4. When Frodo says,”You and I, Sam, are still stuck in the worst places of the story…”
I simply love this line. Life unfolds in ebbs and flows, and whenever you’re going through something challenging, it’s really nice to remind yourself that there’s still hope, that there’s still light at the end of the tunnel, that you’re simply stuck in the worst places of the story, and maybe one day you’ll look back and understand why that challenge had to take place at that specific time. It’s like Steve Jobs says, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”
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