Who would have thought a summer blockbuster could be so entertaining, yet so thoughtful? Marvel’s The Avengers worked on a lot of levels. It’s definitely a popcorn flick, but it also makes you think about important topics like honor, belief and taking orders. Here are eight lessons to be learned from The Avengers.
1. “You people are so petty… and tiny.”
“Godly” people may see the “ungodly” as weak. Some of the people who are in power need to learn the Avengers lessons that teaches how humility goes a long way. Sometimes we have to bring those kinds of people down to earth, like the way that the other Avengers ground Thor and make him appreciate humanity.
2. “Seeing, still working on believing.”
Not everyone is going to accept the fantastical at face value. Even Tony Stark, a man who fights and flies in an armored suit, is hesitant to believe that actual gods roam the earth. That kind of skepticism is good up to a point; no one wants to be naive. However, if disbelief in something is preventing you from moving forward with your life, you need to learn to accept that thing even if you don’t fully understand it yet.
3. “Puny god.”
Even if you accept the existence of gods, they don’t control your life. Even the most powerful people don’t own you; you choose your own destiny. Their control over you only reaches as far as you let it reach. Remember that even the most “godly” people in our lives are puny if we don’t give their godliness too much weight.
4. “You don’t understand. Have you ever had someone take your brain and play? Take you out and stuff something else in? You know what it’s like to be unmade?”
When you aren’t in control of your life anymore, things go wrong fast. This is one of the Avengers lessons Clink Barnes a.k.a. Hawkeye learned when someone literally took over his mind, and it’s one we should take heed of in the real world, too. We run serious risk of being too controlled, whether that be by a friend, a superior, a controlled substance or something else. Remember, though, that even if you’ve been unmade, you can be made whole again.
5. “We have orders, we should follow them.”
Captain America, in true soldier fashion, believes that orders should be followed, no questions asked. Keep in mind that he just awoke from the World War II era, and his beliefs may be antiquated. Most people believe today that there’s a lot of danger in not questioning the orders we receive, including many of his fellow Avengers. Case in point:
6. “I recognise the council has made a decision, but given that it’s a stupid-ass decision, I’ve elected to ignore it.”
According to Fury, even when you’re facing the most powerful people in your world, you shouldn’t take orders if you don’t believe in them. Especially not if the actions have terrible consequences such as, for example, destroying New York. Take even the most respected and influential leaders’ words with a grain of salt, unless you want to risk making a huge mistake.
7. “We could… use… a little worse.”
Sometimes, as Black Widow can attest, we have to go further than we ever knew we could to achieve goals that are truly worth it.
Pro tip: don’t get stabbed through the heart with a giant spear. But if you do get stabbed through the heart with a giant spear, make sure it was for a good purpose. Agent Coulson laid down his life because he believed in the Avengers’ mission. His Avengers lesson was the most costly by far, but it was a meaningful death as he was protecting the people he put his faith in. To be like him stand for the right causes; don’t waste your time on trivial matters.