Updated: May 4
Today, I’ll be getting into a previously mentioned fandom, because honestly, it is such a great show and it helps remind us of the fact that real life doesn’t have happy endings, at least, not in the way we expect them to be. I’m talking about…
Once Upon A Time
If you don’t already know what that is, check out my previous post:
I explain it there, and what I love about it. This post is literally just about going deeper into the meanings behind some of the episodes and the lessons I learned from it. So, here are my top five lessons learned!
1. Every Villains Have A Story
A lot of the time, in original fairytales, you don’t get to see the side that we deem as “evil”. Oftentimes, we hear the side of the victor, the “good guys”, but we don’t see what made that villain evil. After all, in real life, no one is born inherently evil (unless you’re a remorseless serial killer).
Once Upon A Time reminds us of that. They show the villain’s side of the story, as well as the good guys, because it’s a reminder for us. Everyone has a story, and it’s that story and the decisions they’d made that defines who they are. For example, the Evil Queen, or Regina, became the “Evil Queen”, not because she was born into that role, she was forced into it, because of the cruel things that had happened to her in her past. By giving in to the pressures that came with the criticisms of her people, she became the Evil Queen.
So, if you think that a person who’s given you a hard time, or bullied you in the past is inherently evil, think again. It’s probably because of something in their lives that has forced them to make the choices they’d made. It isn’t because they want to, but because it’s either in self-defence, or because it’s the only choice that makes them feel safe.
2. Even Good Guys Can Make Bad Decisions
We all like to think of ourselves as good guys. Even I sometimes have a heroine complex. I sometimes feel like a hero, every time I help someone out on the streets, or give money to the poor, but it is in that arrogance that I start making bad decisions. Sometimes, when we decide that a certain choice gives us that boost of good energy, it can have devastating consequences. For example, you might think that you’re helping a friend, when you confront their problems for them, but by doing so, you might be opening a can of worms that your friend was already handling, and because you didn’t consult them before, you’ve caused a bigger problem that they would have to fix.
Sometimes, even if you think you’re a good guy, you might make a bad decision, so don’t get too hung over by it. After all, Emma the Saviour, has so much pressure on her shoulders, to save the people of Storybrooke that sometimes she forgets that she’s not an all-good hero. She’s human, just like they are, and she can afford to make a bad mistake, in order to learn and grow into being the hero she has to be, when she needs to be.
3. Toxic Friends Create A Toxic Mind
This is more true when you’re younger and easily changeable, but it doesn’t mean it can also be true when you’re older. It doesn’t really matter how old you are, when you come across someone who you find interesting and inspiring, you’ll want to emulate them. So, you take examples from them. You change your habits and your lifestyle, to just fit in the crowd they’re a part of.
Be careful if you do, because sometimes the people who you try to emulate might not be the right people to emulate. What I mean is, the people you hang out with might be gossipy, or they might show you a different face than they do to others. You might be hanging out with those that take risks that you find might be morally compromising. If you do, stop. Ask yourself if this is the right thing you need to do. Ask yourself if these people are the right people to hang out with. If you’re hesitating to say “yes”, then you need to leave. Think about it this way, in later season, Regina finds out that her old ways were too risky before. She gave in to the peer pressure of being evil, and eventually, when she learned what being morally good was, she couldn’t handle that risk. She couldn’t handle the pressures that came with being evil, and eventually found the good in herself to realise that her actions in the past were wrong.
The same should go for you. If you’re in a situation that you think is morally wrong, don’t do it. You’ll find that the close friends you had before, your family and those who looked up to you had been right all along. The person you were with these new people wasn’t the person who you were meant to be, and because you abandoned your old principles for a joyride, those who kept you grounded before had drifted away. It’ll be hard to gain their trust back, because you’d been so unreliable before.
4. Always Believe In The Good In Others
This sort of relates to the first lesson that every villain has a story. This one however isn’t just believing in the good in them, it’s also believing in the good guys too. Sometimes, those who are supposed to be good have their doubts. Even I have doubts sometimes, but with a little push, I know I can get to where I want to be, and where I need to be, with the encouragement of those who believe in me.
Ok, in terms of Once Upon A Time, this theme is particularly present in the first season, when Emma is trying to navigate the idea of her son wanting to stay in contact with her, having to battle his adoptive mother to gain custody of him, and the constant reminder from Henry (her son) that she’s a magical saviour for the magical town, so they can go back to their home in the Enchanted Forest. Throughout the first season, you see Emma’s doubts clearly on her face, as she interacts with everyone, especially her son.
Of course, she tries to look like she’s rooting for him, and she’s giving him the freedom to “imagine” that she’s a Saviour, but the constant pressure from him and everyone else takes a toll, and she begins to doubt everything she knows is right. She begins to believe that giving up and leaving would be in his best interest, and the best interest of everyone in the town, but because Henry doesn’t stop believing in her, she pushes forward. She pushes past the doubt, and eventually comes into her own, becoming the Saviour and rescuing her parents and friends time and again, as the show goes on.
The same happens in our lives too. Sometimes the people we’re close to might have doubts about the things they’re doing, and you can see in their eyes that it gives them that spark of life. The only reason they can’t see the good in what they’re doing is because it’s something they’ve done for a long while, and they don’t see how much progress they’ve made. They don’t look back and see just how far they’d come. You’re their second pair of eyes, and you can be the voice of encouragement for them. So, always see the good in others because you never know, it may lead to something extraordinary and amazing.
5. Believe In Yourself
This one is one of the most important ones I’ve learned from the series. As a filmmaker, with no connections, whatsoever, or at least some, but not enough to get my name out there fast enough, of course I’ll have doubts about the career path I’ve chosen. Even now, as I’m a content creator, for this website and its social media channels, I start to doubt my abilities, and I begin to give up on the things I’ve achieved so far! I mean, come on, look at what I’ve done in just a year. I’ve established a routine for my blog posts. I’m using graphics to help teach my followers about Spanish, Korean Japanese, as well as give you guys life tips and writing prompts. I’m even beginning to give you video content. I’ve done so much in the last year, more than I have done in the previous 3 to 4 years. For me, at least for now, that’s a win.
A lot of the time, in the series, Emma, Snow, and even Regina, face odds that make them begin to doubt themselves. More so towards the later seasons, when Regina is tempted to return to her old ways and undo all the good, she’d done for Storybrooke over the previous seasons. It’s a testament to the fact that even though they might be seen as heroes and villains, they’re still human, they still feel human emotions, and if they can push through the struggle, so can we.
It’s a big lesson to learn, especially when you’re going down a path that not many take. Like if you’re an artist, trying to sell your art, or if you’re a filmmaker trying to become part of the bigger productions, or you’re a businessman/businesswoman who’s just trying to own your own business. It’s a scary and difficult path, because you don’t know if you’re going to succeed or not. That path is riddled with nay-sayers and risks. You could after all, lose money on your investments, you could find yourself criticised into oblivion, you could even lose the inspiration that once saw you start down this path. The only thing that will clinch that is your willingness to give up. So, keep believing in yourself, and even if you don’t succeed in the way you’d hoped, you’ll eventually find success in some other form.
Learn Your Lessons
There are many other lessons Once Upon A Time teaches. This was just the tip of the iceberg. Of course, you may agree with me, or disagree with me, that’s ok, because when you watch it, you’ll find yourself learning lessons you’ve been taught before, but have closed your eyes to them. It’ll remind you of who you are, and through the examples these characters go through, you can be inspired to grow and mature yourselves. You can be the person who believes in the good in others, you can be the hero of your own life, or even the villain. It doesn’t matter, whatever you choose, that is your choice to make, and if it is the wrong one, you’ll learn to push past that mistake and keep on living.
Well, that’s it from me today, I’ll see you guys next time. For now, don’t forget to like, subscribe and follow for more updates and the latest posts here on Feather’s Charm and on my social media accounts. Oh, and share these posts with family and friends, those who you’d think might enjoy these topics and tips! I’ll see you later!