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Life in television

As someone who has watched a good amount of television and movies in his life, I’ve noticed there are life lessons which can be found and learned through these mediums, from the way characters carry themselves, to their actions or quotes.

Different characters can teach us different things about life. Below, I will list some of the lessons I’ve learned, or that can be learned, from television and movie characters.

Through his wisecracking ways and practical jokes, while being stuck in the Korean War, Captain Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce, of the show, M.A.S.H. taught me you can always find a reason to laugh, even in the darkest of situations.

Doc Emmett Brown’s final lesson, in the Back to the Future movie trilogy, speaks for itself in a quote. “Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one.” This quote tells me, the way our futures play out is decided by the choices we make, and every person has the control to set their own path in life.

Gil Grissom of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation taught me to always trust the facts, or in his wording “the evidence.” In assisting his team with solving crimes, Grissom would commonly tell them to “follow the evidence.” As well, in one episode he has a powerful quote about the importance of trusting the science or facts over and above witness testimony or statements. “I tend not to believe people; they lie. The evidence never lies.” I think this is rather important in our current pandemic situation, to trust in the science and healthcare advice from experts in the field.

Home Improvement’s Tim Taylor was always learning lessons from his neighbour Wilson, but one lesson he can teach everyone is, it is okay to admit when you are wrong. Most episodes would involve a similar plot line of, Tim getting into an argument or disagreement with his wife or other characters, then him talking to Wilson and getting a new perspective on the situation, and eventually admitting his error in order to make up.

It’s okay if new information or perspective changes your opinion on a subject, and it is okay to admit to making a mistake, in fact it’s healthy. We aren’t always going to be right on everything we say or do in life, we’re only human.

So I encourage people, when you’re watching television or a movie next time, watch for the possible lessons you can learn from the characters.

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