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3 Life Lessons from Stand by Me

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Stand by Me (1986) Movie Poster

Stand by Me (1986) Movie Poster


Some movies have some substance that may be beneficial to the audience, and I’m going to share some life lessons I gain from watching Stand by Me.

Stand by Me is a movie directed by Rob Reiner about four children who go out on an adventure in search of the dead body of Ray Browner, a boy hit by a train. Throughout the movie, I felt nostalgic because it reminds me of my childhood and gives me some valuable lessons as well. So, here are three life lessons from Stand by Me:

Chris Chambers played by River Phoenix in Stand by Me

Chris Chambers played by River Phoenix in Stand by Me

1. You Are Not What Others Think of You

Chris Chambers is one of the main characters whose family is well known for its notoriety. Because of his family, Chris is labeled as a troublemaker just like his family members.

In one of the movie's scenes, Mr. Lachance—Gordie’s father—asks Gordie, "Why can't you have friends like Denny's?" and believes that Chris is a thief because of his upbringing. From there I realize that sometimes people are biased, especially if one is born into a notorious family.

Chris and Gordie have a conversation in which Chris tells Gordie that he stole the milk money, but he had a conscience to give the money back. And the teacher who got the money used it for her personal gain, and yet people still believe that Chris stole the money.

Chris has a breakdown while discussing this with Gordie. "Do you think anyone would have believed it? And do you think that bitch would have dared try something like that if it'd been one of those douchebags from up on the View if they had taken the money?" asks Chris, “no way.”

Chris also says to Gordie that he will never get out of the town, so it’s better for Chris to take shop courses along with their other friends—Vern and Teddy. But Gordie doesn't agree with what Chris said because Gordie knows Chris is smart enough to go to college and hence able to get out of the town. Gordie also encourages Chris to go to the college course with him, and he later accepts.

What others think of us can be misleading since they are biased. If Chris still believes that he doesn't deserve to go to college and believes what others say about him, he will never be a lawyer.

So, our family doesn't define who we are as human beings, and it takes a lot of self-belief and courage to block out those who speak ill of us if we want to succeed and achieve our goals in life.

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Teddy, Vern, Gordie, and Chris in Stand By Me

Teddy, Vern, Gordie, and Chris in Stand By Me

2. Friends Have an Impact on You

At the beginning of the movie, Chris, Gordie, Teddy, and Vern are so enthusiastic to find the corpse of Ray Browner. Because if they do find his body, they will be in the newspaper and people in their town will deem them as heroes. And throughout the journey, they all face some obstacles such as the train that almost hits Gordie and Vern.

At the end of the movie, the four of them part and tell each other that the journey they were on was remarkable—something they will never forget—even though they will turn into adults and never have the time to hang out as they used to when they were little.

Stand By Me reminds me and other people that friends sure have an impact on our lives, although we are no longer in contact with them anymore nor have the chance to see them again.

Gordie Lachance played by Wil Wheaton in Stand by Me

Gordie Lachance played by Wil Wheaton in Stand by Me

3. Embrace Your Weirdness

We are programmed to believe that being weird is something we all should avoid because, in order to fit in, we have to hide our true selves or behave in the same way as others around us.

In the movie, Gordie's parents seem distant since the death of his brother Denny. Gordie's father always showers Denny with love and praise while it seems that he ignores Gordie's talent for writing.

On the journey to the wilderness, Gordie asks Chris whether he is weird or not, and Chris replies, "Yeah, you are. But who cares? Everybody is weird, right?" And Gordie also denies that he will make it as a writer because his father thinks that it's a waste of time and he is no good.

Chris consoles Gordie by telling him that his father doesn't know who he actually is, so Chris believes if Gordie pursues what he is good at and embraces his weirdness, he will make it. And yeah, Gordie becomes a writer later in life.

Sometimes we are too afraid to embrace something that others think is weird, well it can be your talent, right? So, if you are a woman and your goal is to be a football player since you are good at it, go try to pursue it.

© 2021 Rifqi

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