Guardians of the Galaxy opened this week and proved to be a really fun movie that still manages to teach us about friendship, surrogate families, dealing with your lot in life, communication, supporting each other and unlikely heroes.
We already talked about missed opportunities, like the one young Peter Quill has at the start of the film, so I won’t recap that here. Instead, enjoy a lightly spoilery run down of 7 tips from Guardians of the Galaxy about making the most out of life.
1. Music Makes Mood
How good was the soundtrack in this movie? It really made it stand out and gave the scenes a character all of their own. Music makes mood. If you’re feeling down, don’t wallow in sad songs, crank up Awesome Mix Vol. 1 and get hooked on a feeling: happiness.
2. Good Friends Make You A Better Person
So, the Guardians of the Galaxy are not the best people. Really. We see that as they’re all being introduced. They’ve all got issues. None are shining paragons of virtue.
And yet, get them all together and they make each other better. You see honesty, empathy, putting others before oneself – all of that and more comes out in the film.
The gang in Guardians of the Galaxy are pretty antagonist to each other in the beginning. And they never change entirely. Rocket’s still a grouch, Star-Lord is still sentimental for Earth and his past. Yet, the crew gets along well enough and they need each other. They help each other out.
Everyone can be a jerk sometimes, but if you have friends who only are grouchy and always taking but never giving, these might not be the best people to hang around with.
Good friends make you a better person. Surround yourself with people who support and positively challenge you and you’ll go far. It’s almost like they’re family…
3. Family’s Where You Find It
Do you have friends who you’re as close with as your siblings? Do you have a neighbour or friend of the family who you call ‘aunt’ or ‘uncle’ or consider family? I know I do.
All the main characters in Guardians of the Galaxy are ‘losers’, as in people who have lost stuff. They’ve lost homes, families and more. Together, they form a new family.
In this crazy, messed up galaxy, family is where you find it. You won’t often tell them aloud. Neither of you might explicitly acknowledge it. But you know it’s true and you know they know – that’s how families are. And that’s an awesome thing.
4. Make The Most Of Your Lot In Life
I think the most poignant moment with Rocket the genetically modified raccoon was when he reacted so violently to being called ‘vermin’ and ‘rodent’ and then broke down, saying he didn’t ask to be made. He hadn’t asked to be torn apart and put back together over and over and made into what he is today. Can you relate?
We have to deal with the consequences of our actions, but sometimes life just grabs us and drags us along. Before we know it we’re in some situation we didn’t ask for.
It’s not easy dealing with that. Knowing you didn’t ask for it, but accepting that it’s what’s happened can help. Surrounding yourself with friends and family, hanging with your BFF – who may or may not be a sentient tree – and seeing the funny side of things can help you get through it.
Also, wherever you are in life, whatever you’ve been through: you’ve gained something because of it. Rocket is amazing at gadgets and cobbling machines together. And he’s important to Groot and integral to the team.
If things he hadn’t asked for had not happened, there would be no Guardians of the Galaxy.
It’s the same thing in real life. You are who you are today because of the circumstances that brought you here. They may not have been pleasant, but they’ve given you skills and knowledge and experience. Use it to make the most of your lot in life.
5. Communication Is Tone & Body Language
Speaking of Groot and Rocket, let’s talk about communication. They’ve got a special bond, and Rocket can somehow tell exactly what Groot means by each iteration of “I am Groot”. You might have someone, a significant other or BFF, in your life like that.
For everyone else, Groot’s just saying “I am Groot”, right? Yet, it’s his facial expressions, the tone of his voice, his body language that conveys the message. Those things are hugely important; more so than the words, really. A sad and soft “I am Groot” showing sympathy is very different from the bellowing “I AM GROOT!” in the prison escape.
Be aware of this. It’s not just what you say that matters, but how you say it and your body language when you say it. And be aware of others’ tone and body language when they’re talking to you. They might mean something completely different than their words alone convey.
6. Misfits Should Stick Together
About a month ago I spoke to a fellow gamer and nerd who referred to our kind as “misfits”. I told him that was a good word and I was going to blog about it. It’s particularly relevant in relation to Guardians of the Galaxy.
Misfits, I think, aren’t bad. They just don’t fit with the crowd. They’re different, they stand out. They’re awesome like that. So many of history’s brightest minds were misfits. Being a misfit is a great thing. It doesn’t always feel like it though.
But there’s hope. There are other misfits out there too. And they know how you feel. They might not be the same sort of misfit as you, but they get it. They’ve been through it. So embrace them.
Some nerds, geeks and gamers have a habit of one-upping each other and gate-keeping the hobby, trying to weed out ‘fakes’. I get that we’ve found a niche now and we want to feel safe, but you need to let the other misfits in. Embrace other types of nerds and gamers. Learn from them, teach them, have fun with them.
The Guardians of the Galaxy are all sorts of misfits and they fit perfectly together. Use that as your model. If everyone you hung out with was exactly like you, I think it’d get boring pretty fast. Imagine Drax doing that. He’d never be able to grasp anything other than the most literal phrases if he didn’t spend time with other misfits.
So, please, form an awesome crew filled with variety. Connect with other misfits throughout the galaxy and support them and let them support you.
7. Anyone Can Be A Hero
Lastly, the same message we love here at Heroic rings true in Guardians of the Galaxy. Anyone can be a hero. Just look at the ragtag bunch of misfits in this film and the amazing things they accomplish.
I know it’s just a movie, but it’s true: anyone can be a hero. For others and for themselves. And if you need it, we can help you be a hero.
Bonus Tip: Have Fun!
Rolling Stone sums up Guardians of the Galaxy in three words: Fun, fun, fun!
Fun, smiling and laughter are all good for your health, your creativity, your outlook. All sorts of things!Plus, it’s, well… fun!
So have fun, make your own fun, and don’t take everything too seriously.
Guardians of the Galaxy was a fun movie and had lots more lessons too. What was your favourite part of the movie? What are some other lessons the Guardians of the Galaxy can teach us? Sends us a message in the comments.
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