Life Lessons from The Lord of the Rings

100_1103Frodo: “I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”
Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.”

Why are The Lord of the Rings, so remembered? Why have they left such a lasting impact?

It is because The Lord of the Rings (and parts of The Hobbit) are more than just films that make us laugh at Hobbits having fireworks blow up in their faces, or dwarves tossing dishes around the room, they are more than just well-plotted storylines and well-defined characters—they are films which we can relate to, that hold life meanings that we can attach ourselves to.

How many times have we felt like Frodo? We are in the midst of such tragedy and struggle and wish that we can just put an end to it. But we can’t—all we can do is decide, “what to do with the time that is given to us.” We can decide to give up, or to keep fighting and make a difference. And perhaps we are struggling for a reason? Perhaps it is because something good will come from it. Or it will prepare us for even greater challenges?

You don’t need to be a president or a king to make a difference in this world. So many times we look at the evil or misfortune around us and say to ourselves, “If only I had more power or money, then, I could make a difference.” But you don’t need it. Sometimes, small acts of kindness can make more of a difference than a large donation. It is the acts of ordinary people who will shape the morals of this world more than any government. Yes, governments can make laws, but it is the people who choose to obey them.

As Thorin Oakenshield told Biblo before his passing: “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

Sam is the friend that I strive to be. A friend who I would want to have.

What would it be like, to have a friend who was so loyal, that he would chase after you through a lake even though he can’t swim? A friend who would leave the comforts of his home to confront danger with you. A friend, who even though you betrayed him, he comes back and carries you up a mountain. That is the friend I want to be. . . . How much different would this world be, if we all had a Samwise in our lives? Or, if we were the Samwise, in someone else’s?

Theoden: “So much death. What can men do against such reckless hate?”
Aragorn: “Ride out with me. Ride out and meet them.”

Though we may be surrounded, though we may feel that life is bleak, we cannot allow ourselves to give up hope. We must fight! We must take our stand and ride out!

Life . . . this world is corrupt. But one day, it will be refined. Until then, we must fight! Fight, and to try to make this world a better place, as much as we can.

“There is some good in this world, and it is worth fighting for.”

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