Popular culture isn’t just mindless fodder. Well, some may be but many times—whether it be in a book, a comic, or a film—you’ll come across a quote that makes you take a step back and reflect.
Here are two of my favourites:
“Don’t kill if you can wound, don’t wound if you can subdue, don’t subdue if you can pacify, and don’t raise a hand at all until you’ve first extended it.”
Gail Simone, the author of Wonder Woman Vol 3 #25—from whence this quote comes—exquisitely encapsulates the essence of Princess Diana of Themyscira, Daughter of Hippolyta. She gets Wonder Woman.
She wants readers to know that Wonder Woman will kick your behind, but only if she absolutely has to.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Wonder Woman’s not advocating violence if you’ve exhausted all possibilities. In fact, the message she conveys is that you need to do everything you can to avoid conflict.
Put another way, she easily could have said to walk away after giving an honest effort to resolve a conflict.
True heroism is having the courage to do what’s right even when it’s the unpopular course of action. True heroism is showing compassion to an enemy. That’s almost unheard of from any other superhero.
“Not all those who wander are lost.”
This quote comes from a poem, The Riddle of Strider, written for The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien to describe the ranger Strider (Aragon).
Not much is known about the Rangers of The Lord of the Rings. And like real life, fear and suspicion tend to rise out of the unknown.
However, what most characters didn’t know that Rangers were not simply lost wanderers with dark secrets; they left their old lives to protect those who couldn’t protect themselves.
And it’s in that letting go of the past and moving forward that Tolkien is touching on here. If you remain stuck in the past, you can never move forward.
For some, that means taking a risk. Consider the following: Changing careers, moving to a new town, or just severing ties with people who weigh you down.
These examples are just a few of the many risks people may take when they feel as if they are no longer moving forward.
Maybe you don’t know where you’re headed when you make such a move, but there’s one thing you are sure of: You need to let go to move forward.
So Many More Quotes!
When I began this post, I had a large list of quotes to write about but the first two took on a life of their own. As a result, the others will have to wait.
It’s a perfect example of how popular culture can shape and improve our lives. It’s not all fluff; there are important messages to be heard and lessons to be learned.
And as I dive further in the crazy world of pop culture, I increasingly become more enthusiastic and inspired.