Wisdom from Film: The Greatest Showman

Posted By Andy Park on Feb 11, 2018 |

In such a time where media portrays the grim, ugly, and negativity of today’s world, I was thoroughly blown away by a cinematic masterpiece: The Greatest Showman. For those who have watched this film, I’m suspecting you may know what I’m talking about.

I’ve watched this film eight times in theaters and every time I walk away with a sense of awe, renewed courage, and determination to be a person who continues to be brave. Eight (8) viewings, which in hindsight is slightly an obsessive number which should have required clinical intervention, allowed for me to watch and learn from all different segments with careful consideration.

This film highlights a story of rags to riches back to rags and then to real riches. But as you track the struggle that PT Barnum has with fame, fortune, and love, we can all resonate with how we lose sight of what matters most: the value of being loved and to love and support those that mean the most to us.

As a fellow misfit of society, I resonated with the beauty of seeing all the other –and rather peculiar– misfits taking their stand and pushing up against the status quo of their time. When you accept who you are, we can celebrate life and the unique fingerprints we all have. These characters represent all of us. Behind the facade of everyday makeup and grooming, we embody features that helps us stand out from the crowd. And with the anthem of the movie shouting and reverberating through every inch of our senses, I hope we can all shout and proclaim: this is me, this is me, this is me!

This film is about identity, finding identity, and molding identity. Here’s a few tips from the film that I feel would be a great takeaway for anyone:
– We are the product of where we come from and we don’t need to run away from that. Trying to forego the former, only leads us back to it.
– Chasing your dreams takes courage but if all you’re doing is chasing something, then you’ll be chasing something (or a version of it) the rest of your life.
– Acknowledge we all have blind spots. PT was blinded by fame and fortunate to compensate for what he didn’t have as a child. If someone calls out your blind spot, maybe they see something we don’t and could lead to our downfall.
– Money is important, but there’s a fine line between comfort living and unquenchable thirst. Take a look around and weigh where you are. What we spend and obsess over will determine how important money is to us.
– Don’t be afraid to speak up. The Bearded lady in real life also had a hard time standing up for who she was (and her talent; watch this clip here). If we don’t speak up, the void will speak for us.
– It’s never too late to change your mind. Watch this clip.

I believe God would be thrilled with what this movie represents and how we can be more full of life with the decisions we make. In the end I applaud this beautiful masterpiece; it captures the essence of hope for all of us to learn from. And who knows maybe I’ll add to this post with every new spec of wisdom I get after watching it for the 9th, 10th, 100th time!