A Few Valuable Life Lessons from ‘Pocahontas’
Can you sing with all the voices of the mountain? Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?
I love Disney films. Those who know me probably wouldn’t be surprised if I started to serenade them with Aladdin’s “A Whole New World,” or the Little Mermaid’s “Part of Your World.”(I tend to sing a lot, and I suppose my selections usually pertain to tunes about the world.)
However, Pocahontas is the film that induces the warm fuzzies and the most enjoyment. I always felt some kind of kindred-animated spirit with that girl, and I honestly believe that valuable lessons are embedded within that movie.
After viewing it again recently, here is what I’ve gathered:
- “She goes wherever the wind takes her.” – Kekata
Pocahontas marches to the beat of her own drum. You don’t have to blindly follow the herd; you can embrace your individuality and feel free by being yourself.
- “He wants me to be steady like the river, but it’s not steady at all.”– Pocahontas
Pocahontas muses how the river is anything but steady and sure; the water’s always changing, always flowing. Life embodies change, yet, life continues to flow. We, too, can change accordingly; we can change our minds, our course and our desires, while we ebb and flow with the waves.
- “Listen with your heart, you will understand.”– Grandmother Willow
Through this internal instinct, our leading lady gave her hand to John Smith upon their first encounter. Of course I don’t want to discount logical reasoning during a decision-making process, but there’s also significance in listening to your inner voice – your intuition – that will guide you to an answer.
- “You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you. But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew you never knew.”– Pocahontas
This gem is from the beautifully melodic “Colors of the Wind” (another one of my go-to tunes for my singing escapades). She pleads with Smith to re-examine his views; his mindset being that her people are “ignorant savages.” “We are all connected to each other, in a circle, in a hoop that never ends,” she says. When we let others into our lives, individuals who may see the world through an alternative lens, we learn more. Even if we don’t see eye to eye, we could still listen and acknowledge contrasting perspectives, opinions and beliefs.
- “How high does a sycamore grow? If you cut it down, then you’ll never know.”– Pocahontas
That is my favorite lyric from “Colors of the Wind.” The literal translation echoes Pocahontas’ defense of the land; land from the Earth that the English settlers tried to claim as their own. And on a figurative level, this line always moved me as well. It tells us to take chances, to try, to be vulnerable. How truly wonderful can something be if you turn the other way, before exploring its possibility?
- “I’d rather die tomorrow than live 100 years without knowing you.” – John Smith
Smith delivers these powerful words to Pocahontas while he’s captured (and is in pretty dire straits). Sometimes, we meet people who touch us at our core. Whatever strenuous history is endured, there are no regrets about your journey with this other person; you’ll always cherish what you both experienced together.
- “You know your path, child, now follow it.”– Grandmother Willow
Pocahontas can always rely on this talking willow tree for wisdom. It may not be easy; it might not be met with approval, but following your authentic path, to do what’s right for you, definitely sounds like some sage advice to me.
- “No matter what happens, I’ll always be with you, forever.”– Pocahontas and John Smith
This is said between the two lovers toward the end of the film, and it always cued my need for Kleenex. Whenever you’re separated from a loved one, they’re never really gone. They’re always with you – in your heart.
So, there you have it – my tally of (hopefully) thought-provoking quotes from Pocahontas. Maybe this inspires you all to give this Disney flick another glance? Get the popcorn ready and enjoy!
Suval, L. (2013). A Few Valuable Life Lessons from ‘Pocahontas’. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 27, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/08/03/a-few-valuable-life-lessons-from-pocahontas/