I have a special affinity for superhero films, but my anticipation for Warner Bros. Studio’s “Wonder Woman” has been unique. I remember watching reruns of Lynda Carter’s Diana Prince that hit the 1970’s with supernatural strength; her lasso of truth, indestructible bracelets, and invisible airplane beat the heck out of any accessories Barbie could offer. Now, as the mother of three girls I was hoping director Patty Jenkins and DC would offer the Princess of Themyscria her own slice of blockbuster justice. I clicked over to my favorite flick checker Kids in Mind and determined that at least my oldest could see it. The verdict is in: DC has (finally) succeeded, and Gal Gadot’s Amazon warrior made it happen.
As my oldest daughter and I drove home, the car was filled with life lessons gleaned from watching Wonder Woman on the big screen. Whether you see the movie or not, these six lessons can be a great help in raising our own women of wonder:
1. When there is no War: Rest and Prepare
Education is a high-priority in our household, and so is joy. We are using this short season of childhood to prepare them for the life to come. This means they must be ready to tackle the challenges that lay ahead, and they must also know how to value rest, so that they are not swept into meaningless business. While they may not venture off to end mythological rivalries, the world holds enough war that at some point it will be their time to stand. We arm them: mind, body, and soul by teaching them not to waste time, and a balance must be struck between rest and preparation.
2. Be Willing to Fight for Those Who Cannot Fight For Themselves
I will teach my children to resist the temptation to be that person who sees injustice and does nothing. Whether it is wielding a sword, words, or hope, in me may they find a cheerleader and someone willing to do the same. It will always be my encouragement to do something. That they would find where their strength comes from, and live boldly.
3. Enjoy the Simple Pleasures
Wonder Woman lived in a paradise, but there were some things that paradise did not hold. Like ice cream, snow, and babies. There is a beauty in the world outside of an idyllic paradise, but if we focus on the soot and chaos instead of tasting and seeing the blessings hiding behind lenses of pessimism, disgust is all we will see. This lesson is simple: teach them to live with eyes of wonder and they will see the light instead of the darkness.
4. Don’t Give Up on the Value of Humanity
Yes, hopes for humanity can seem bleak when headlines shout the failings of the worst of us. But there is value. A disbelief in this leads to hopelessness and the grave. The fastest way to destroy all that is good is to hide in shelters of self-protection instead of being willing to see the value in being kind to the one next to you. We must teach them to see the inherent worth of every soul, no matter how hard the exterior.
5. Know Where to Stand So You Know What Rules to Break
The worldview our children hold will guide what they choose to do, so it is important that we as parents help them figure out which hills they would be willing to die on. We don’t want them to be blown to and fro when the latest popular thought emerges or charismatic leader recruits. If we teach them to love justice and show mercy, we will see leaders who push the right boundaries emerge. If we teach them where to stand, they will be less likely to fall.
6. Be Those the World Does Not Deserve
Without revealing any major spoilers, I will say Wonder Woman faces the ideological question of whether or not this world deserves her help. It doesn’t, but she offers it anyway. I pray my children grow to give generously to those who do not deserve, that they would not live a life of basic quid pro quo, and that they would seek the highest good that exists. Not in the seen, but in the unseen. Sacrificial love is a superpower within reach, and yet higher than all the rest.