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3 Things Spiderman: Homecoming Teaches Us About Friendship

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3 Things Spiderman: Homecoming Teaches Us About Friendship

The film Spiderman: Homecoming is a fan favorite for millions of people around the world. The movie is funny, heartwarming, adventurous, and one of the best editions into the Spiderman franchise in my opinion.

Here’s a quick recap of the film in case you haven’t seen it in a while. Peter Parker gets an internship at the prestigious Stark Industries corporation where billionaire Tony Stark recruits him to be the newest – and youngest – member of the Avengers. But because Stark doesn’t believe Peter is ready to take on the responsibilities, he sends him back to school. Peter is disappointed but nevertheless still spends his time learning about all of his new abilities as Spiderman and starts putting them to use to various criminals’ chagrin – and to his eventual enemy’s chagrin, too. His best friend, Ned, finds out and wants to tell everybody that he is Spiderman. But Peter makes Ned swear to secrecy not to reveal his identity, which Ned agrees to.

Meanwhile, Peter asks his crush, Liz, to the school dance – who happens to be the daughter of an arms dealer, Adrian Toomes,  that Tony Stark made very angry (and that Peter inadvertently made very angry earlier in the film too). After Peter realizes who his crush’s dad is – and after his crush’s dad (Adrian) realizes who Peter is (i.e., Spiderman) – chaos ensues. Ned helps Peter disable some leftover weapons tech from Adrian after a skirmish with one of his henchmen, and eventually helps Peter master all of the tech in the Spiderman suit Tony Star created for him to beat Adrian once and for all.

Although Spiderman: Homecoming has lots of great themes and life lessons, what can it teach us about the friendship between Peter and Ned and how it helped Spiderman succeed? And more specifically, what can it teach us about friendship in general that we can apply to our own lives?

  1. We need a (best) friend to encourage us. What I loved about this rendition in the movie franchise is that Spiderman’s best friend was a true best friend. Unlike previous editions, his best friend wasn’t jealous of him and didn’t turn on him – he simply had his back. Ned was more excited for Peter to be Spiderman than even Peter was excited to be Spiderman. In our own lives, we should surround ourselves with friends like Ned who are extremely enthusiastic about the things that we’re doing in our own lives. It will give us hope, inspiration, and help us emotionally get through the tough times.
  1. We need a (best) friend to help us figure things out. Even though Peter got the prestigious internship at Stark Industries – and even though Peter was brilliant himself – it was actually Ned who helped him at key moments figure out technology that saved his life and that helped him be successful in his battles. Without Ned, Peter wouldn’t have been able to be successful as Spiderman because Spiderman would not have the power to do everything himself. Likewise for you and me, we need best friends who can help us figure out tricky situations in our own lives. If our friends can be there when we don’t know exactly what to do next – or if we simply need a helping hand – we can hack the algorithms of life that would try to prevent us from reaching the next level.
  1. We need a (best) friend to help us defeat our enemies. Like # 2, Peter could not have defeated Adrian in the final battle without Ned. Ned provided strategic help with figuring out the Spiderman suit that enabled him to overcome Adrian in his deadly beach confrontation. For my life and yours, we will need a best friend to help us defeat our own enemies. Whether our enemies are addiction, hurt, pain, or other obstacles, our best friends can help us with key insights that could be the difference between victory and defeat for us.

Of course, there are a lot of other great lessons about friendship that Spiderman: Homecoming teaches us. But 3 of the most important are that we need a best friend to encourage us; to help us figure tricky things out; and to defeat our often very strong enemies. 

Dr. Rob Carpenter - known simply as “Dr. Rob” - is a transformational author, filmmaker, and CEO whose mission is to entertain, empower, and uplift people and humanity.

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3 Things The Hunger Games Teaches Us About Resilience

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3 Things The Hunger Games Teach Us About Resilience 

In Suzanne Collin’s masterful dystopian trilogy, The Hunger Games, we meet Katniss Everdeen. Katniss is 16 years old, hunts for food for her little sister and mother, and is just an average teen living an average life. Or so we think.

In Katniss’s world of Panem – a fictional futuristic nation broken into 12 districts that divide the people into working categories – life is miserable. The Capitol, led by all-powerful President Snow, is greedy, oppressive, and manipulative. And the annual entertainment for the country – The Reaping – drafts teens from every district to hunt and kill each other in a twisted televised reality show until there is only 1 victor standing.

In the story, Katniss’s little sister gets drafted to represent her district in the Reaping. To Katniss, this is abhorrent so she volunteers in her place. And this is when her biggest test(s) begins.

The Hunger Games trilogy follows Katniss on her unexpected journey from defending her little sister to winning the Reaping to having to compete in a second Repeating to becoming a symbol of defiance against the Capitol and President Snow. We can learn much from her experiences. Here are 3 things Katniss teaches us about how we also can be resilient.

  1. Resilience always starts with a choice. When Katniss volunteered to take her little sister’s place in the Reaping, she was choosing to be tested. She was choosing to be resilient. For her, it was too much that her little sister could possibly be killed. We take for granted that she could have just let her little sister be drafted in the Reaping and hope – and pray – that she wouldn’t get hurt. But she didn’t. Likewise in our own lives, we have to make choices that are sometimes uncomfortable for us that will require us to be tested so that we can protect something – or someone – we love. 
  1. Resilience will often require us to repeat a lesson or experience that we have already been through. In Part 2 of the Hunger Games, Katniss – who already won the annual Reaping and who was supposed to be exempt from ever having to experience it again – was re-drafted to compete in the Reaping for a second year in a row. Even though Katniss accomplished her initial goal in the first Reaping, she had to accomplish it all over again – this time to save her own life. This caused her to panic and want to escape, but ultimately she chose to go through this experience again. But this time she was able to take the lessons she learned not only hunting, but also about endurance to survive the Reaping the second time. For us, we will also have to sometimes go through tough experiences multiple times in life- either because we haven’t completely learned the lesson in the first place or because the lesson is being reinforced for us so we can become masters and help teach it to others.
  1. Resilience often makes us entirely different people than we were originally expecting to be. While Katniss was participating in her first and second Reapings, she was being unknowingly molded into a leader so that she could take on the Capitol to overturn its oppression – and to stop the Hunger Games and Reapings for ever. Katniss never wanted to be a leader, all she wanted was to be a regular teenager. But yet her experiences with resilience, overcoming, and victory made her a symbol of hope for others to look to for guidance – and for leadership. In our own lives, we too will experience situations that are difficult and uncomfortable but that turn is into different people than we were planning on becoming. We must embrace this and learn to make the best of it.

Ultimately, Katniss Everdeen and the Hunger Games can teach us a lot about resilience – about not giving up and about overcoming our obstacles and adversities. Whether it is choosing to be resilient to protect what we love, or choosing to repeat difficult experiences over again, or choosing to be shaped into entirely new people, Katniss can help us better understand how to be overcomers in our own lives. 

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