3 Lessons from “Me Before You”

By Xue Wen ChowJul 18, 2016

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After watching the trailer of the highly raved movie Me Before You, I was captivated by the unique storyline, not to mention the extremely attractive lead actor and actress, and I waited eagerly for the movie to be released. I have to say that it did not disappoint. Apart from the charming chemistry between Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin and the emotional ups and downs evoked by the story progression, the movie has also struck a chord with me. Although the issues underlying the plot of the movie are controversial, I believe that there are some lessons within it that are applicable to everyone because in life we do not always get what we want, and we have to learn to cope with that and embrace that.

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#1 Don’t let anyone dull your sunshine

We can tell that it was no mean feat having to assist Will, who was initially unappreciative, cynical, and downright rude. Despite that, Louisa gave her best and never failed to greet Will with a charming and sincere smile. Even though she felt so disheartened at one point that she almost gave up, her sheer determination to brighten up Will’s life finally paid off and she managed to break down the walls built around his heart.

In life, we will definitely encounter people who are jaded and disheartened because of their circumstances; people who no longer take any notice of how their actions make others feel. However, we should not let the attitudes of others affect how we behave. Sure, it would be easy to do unto others what they do unto you, but in the end, nobody wins.

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#2 Forgiveness sets you free

When Will’s ex-girlfriend visited him with her to-be-husband (who happens to be Will’s closest friend), Will was crushed and felt betrayed. He greets the couple with sarcasm and poison-laden words which pushes them to leave. However, he fails to realize that he achieves nothing with that because his hatred and anger only hurt himself. When Will decided to forgive his ex-girlfriend by attending her wedding, he could finally let go of his painful past and regrets which were weighing him down. That was when he began to open up his heart to love others and to receive love.

Forgiving seems difficult when we feel that someone has let us down. When that someone is a person whom we trust and care about, forgiving becomes even more impossible to achieve. We feel that we should hold on to our hatred and anger to show them that they have done us wrong. However, this only damages ourselves. As humans, we all make mistakes. The only way we can move on from our past is to accept what has happened, learn from it, and decide to let it go. This virtue of forgiveness also extends to ourselves since we are always our own harshest critics. We should embrace our mistakes and learn from them instead of condemning ourselves because of a few misjudgments. That way, we will be able to free ourselves from all the pain that arises from harboring negative feelings and thoughts.

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#3 When you truly love someone, you want what’s best for them, not for yourself

When Louisa realized that despite all her efforts to dissuade Will from his decision to undergo euthanasia, he had wanted to carry on with the procedures, she was devastated and angry. She was so upset that even though they were on a trip together, she refused to speak to him. However, after much consideration, Louisa decided to be there with Will for his last moments. She decided to support him and respect his decision, although it was not what she had wanted.

When we love someone, we want the best for them even when it may not be what is ideal for ourselves. With love comes sacrifice and compromise. We support our loved ones in their decisions and aspirations even when it conflicts with our own desires, because we want them to be happy. As Louisa’s father said, you can’t change someone; you love them. You love them despite their weaknesses and flaws. You want them to succeed and you are happy for them when they achieve their goals. This all-encompassing love is something that we should all work towards.

Although it is a made-up story, I feel that the takeaways from Me Before You are extremely valuable and should be practiced in our lives. We should always choose to keep our radiant smile and magnanimous heart so that we can forgive others and ourselves, and shower the people we care about with our selfless love. That way, we will be able to grow into the best versions of ourselves.