Just recently another hit musical was released that brought in the crowds. “The Greatest Showman” starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, and Zendaya tells the story of the visionary P.T. Barnum, and how he came to create the “Greatest Show on Earth.” It’s a fun movie, with a compelling plot, and sensational music. What really makes this musical stand out, however, is the many lessons that can be found throughout. Whether your a fan of musicals or not, we can all take away some of the lessons brought to life by “The Greatest Showman.”
1. Only you can make the most out of your life.
P.T. Barnum’s story is a rag-to-riches one. Barnum and his father were tailors for the Hallett family, and he had eyes for the daughter, Charity. When she is sent to finishing school, Barnum is sure to stay connected and through letters, the two are reunited and eventually marry. This was just the start of Barnum proving that you have the power to make the most out of your life. If you look closely throughout the rest of the movie, you can see how this was a common idea throughout his adulthood as well.
2. You have to take risks.
Barnum took a risky bet to take out a large loan from the bank when he bought the Barnum’s American Museum. He also took a huge risk, and often faced criticism when he created a show centered on “freaks.” Not only did Barnum takes risks, but so did Phillip Carlyle when he decided to join the venture. This musical shows that some risks will hurt you, but if you don’t you could just be stuck in the same old life.
3. You’ll face criticism.
Every character faced some sort of criticism. The “freaks” were laughed at for their oddities, Phillip Carlyle was frowned upon by his parents after joining the circus, and Barnum was denounced for creating the circus. This musical proved you will be criticized whether it’s the way you look, the people you are associated with, or the actions you take. The show also showed that how you take that criticism and turn it around shows true strength and persistence. With that attitude it’ll take you further than those who put you down.
4. The only thing that stands between you and happiness is yourself.
The songs “This Is Me” and “Rewrite the Stars” were perfect examples of how the characters were not happy, but realized that they were the ones limiting themselves. There will always be criticism, and events that we cannot change, but at the end of the day, our happiness comes from within and how we think of ourselves.
5. We are humans and make mistakes.
P.T. Barnum made some choices against his better judgement and got immensely wrapped up in his show business. Although he left his family for some time to travel with Jenny Lind, which ends terribly in a scandal, Charity eventually comes to forgive Barnum. Charity’s response shows that mistakes happen and we will get hurt, but with time we can cool down and learn to forgive. We are humans and make mistakes, but we can’t let it keep us from living the life we deserve.
Original article appeared on www.theodysseyonline.com.