Every month I’ve reflect on the things I learned. As June flew by there seemed to be a recurring theme – Wonder Woman. Not only did I see the movie multiple times but the movie itself stuck with me. Here are the things I learned from Wonder Woman, Amazon, and badass – Diana Prince.
(obviously there will be spoilers, but just go see the movie already).
1. Ignore those who tell you “it” is impossible.
Steve Trevor: This is no man’s land, Diana! It means no man can cross it, alright? This battalion has been here for nearly a year and they’ve barely gained an inch. All right? Because on the other side there are a bunch of Germans pointing machine guns at every square inch of this place. This is not something you can cross. It’s not possible.
Diana Prince: So… what? So we do nothing?
Steve Trevor: No, we are doing something! We are! We just… we can’t save everyone in this war. This is not what we came here to do.
Diana Prince: No. But it’s what I’m going to do.
Whatever “it” may be – someone is going to try to tell you that you can’t do it. Graduate from college, raise a family, get a promotion, write a novel, run a marathon, be healthy, or get through trench of Germans shooting machine guns at you.
From the moment Diana steps into the world outside Themyscira, she has person after person telling her she can’t. She can’t dress like that, she can’t carry a sword in public, she can’t save the world. But when Diana enters “No Man’s Land” she proves that she is no man and she is done with the bull crap of people telling her she can’t. She know she can and so she pulls herself out of the trench and goes straight into the heart of the impossible.
There will always be someone who tells you that “it” is impossible. They may have good motives, wanting to protect your life or your emotions or your heart – they want you to set realistic expectations for yourself. But sometimes you gotta ignore them, steps out that of that trench and kick some ass.
2. Fight for those who cannot defend for themselves.
Diana Prince: I can not stand by while innocent lives are lost!
Our world is exceptionally broken. Just turn on the news and you’ll see images of violence, war, police brutality, racism, injustice, and more. There are so many people who are unable to defend themselves because they are deemed too young, because people refuse to listen to them, because they’ve been pushed to the margins of society. They are the people that we – especially as Christians – have been called to defend. We’ve been called to call out oppression, to fight against injustice, to be advocates for the refugee, the homeless, the helpless, the broken and beaten, the orphan and widow, and those who are the least. We cannot stand by while innocent lives are taken.
This is difficult because in our world too many innocent lives are being taken daily. From refugees, to police brutality, to the fact that Flint Michigan still doesn’t have clean water – there are innocent people who need someone that the powers at be will listen to to help defend them. Not that we should embrace white savior mentality (actually far from it). We should use any power and privilege given to us for good, to be advocates, to listen, and to call out instead of using power and privilege for self promotion, success, and to get a leg up.
3. Silence is just a powerful weapon as hatred:
Queen Hippolyta: You know that if you choose to leave, you may never return.
Diana Prince: Who will I be if I stay?
Steve Trevor: My father told me once, he said, “If you see something wrong happening in the world, you can either do nothing, or you can do something”. And I already tried nothing.
We often mistake tweets, sharing articles on Facebook, thinking good thoughts, and even prayer for action. (side note: Prayer is powerful – and it makes a huge difference. I’m not talking about the the constant, crying out to the Lord, passionate prayer. I’m talking about the half-hearted I’ll give you five minutes of my time prayer). We learn and learn but never act.
We sometimes mistake listening and silence. We need to listen to the experiences of the marginalized. Those of us in positions of power and privilege must be quiet and listen to the stories of our brothers and sisters who are in the margins and in the minority. But we are in our places of power and privilege – we must speak out and act against oppression. We must call out the things that wrong and seek to make them right. If we stay silent in the midst of oppression then we can do just as much as if we were the oppressors because we let oppression continue.
4. We chose to be light or darkness
Diana Prince: I glimpsed the darkness that lives within their light. I learnt that inside every one of them there will always be both. The choice each must make for themselves – something no hero will ever defeat.
The world isn’t always so black and white. Each of us has light and dark in us. We can be totally selfless, caring, and loving moment but then be selfish, ignorant, and hatful the next. We each chose to listen to the light and dark in ourselves. Some times its clear cut, some times its not. With Wonder Woman set in the midst of World War I – we see that that some things are not clear cut good vs. evil. Some things really are.
At the end of the movie Diana is given a choice to kill Dr. Poison, who planned to release the newly developed mustard gas straight into England. But Diana, knowing this woman probably deserves to die, spares her life. Was it just to let her go? Would it be just to kill someone who was so evil? When we acknowledge the fact we have both light and dark, we may just learn how to steer more towards the light. I think our danger is never acknowleding the darkness in us, because one day it may creep in without us knowing (and haven’t most superhero movies taught us that at someone point? – see Captain America Civil War).
5. Lastly, glasses do not erase you who you are and we can all still tell.
Etta Candy: Really, specs? Suddenly she’s not the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen?
Thank you Etta for pointing out that putting glasses on Wonder Woman is still just as beautiful and amazing with the glasses. Superman/Clark Kent I’m looking at you. How people don’t recognize you is crazy.