If I had known someone like Auggie in school I think life would have been a lot easier. Wonder starts out when Auggie transitions from home-school into the traditional school system in fifth grade. He was born with a facial deformity and his classmates and peers struggle to accept his appearance. Wonder follows Auggie’s incredible journey as he learns to accept himself and teaches everyone around him about compassion and acceptance. Wonder depicts Auggie as a truly inspiring character who we can learn a lot from. Here are a handful of lessons that I learnt from Auggie.
You can’t blend in when you were born to stand out
Everyone was born to stand out in their own individual way. Everyone has something that makes them shine. For some people, the reason they stand out is a particular talent or ability, and for those people, it is easy for them to be proud of themselves. But, for other people, the reason they stand out is something they’re ashamed about. For example, how at the beginning of Wonder, Auggie is ashamed of his appearance. But he teaches us that we need to accept ourselves for who we are and that the very thing that makes us stand out, also makes us who we are. We can’t all be the same otherwise life would be very boring. Auggie taught me to stop trying to blend in all the time, and to let go and let myself shine.
Hiding who you are has consequences
Many people spend their entire school lives trying to hide who they are and ultimately be like someone else. However, when you turn yourself into another person, the friends you make aren’t truly your friends as they don’t know the real you. In Wonder, Auggie builds such true and lasting friendships because he shows his friends the real him. Auggie struggles with acceptance, but he finds friends that truly just want to be with him and support him. His friends help him develop the confidence he needs and the courage not to hide his face.
Stand up for yourself
Wonder teaches us to stand for who we are. In Wonder, Auggie faces bullying as children can be harsh to one another. If we stand up for who we are and show the bullies that we aren’t ashamed of ourselves, then they have nothing to torment us with. By doing this we become stronger and encourage other people around us to also stand up for who they are.
Allow bad experiences to make you better, not bitter
In Wonder, Auggie faces a lot of harsh treatment by other children. It is so inspiring that he doesn’t let his bad experiences make him bitter. He never gets hateful. Instead, he takes them in his stride and continues to the best he can and learn to love himself. That is an important life lesson that we could all learn from Auggie, don’t let bad people make you bitter. He teaches us to continue to be kind. Kind to ourselves and Kind to others.
Some friends come by surprise
Make the friends you want to have, not the friends you think you should have. In Wonder some of the other kids don’t think Summer should be friends with Auggie, but she wants to be friends with Auggie anyway. And their friendship is beautiful. We need to stop picking our friends based on the status quote and what everyone else thinks. Be friends with people who make you feel good. Be friends with anyone you want to be with.