Fairy tales have something enchanting about them – they take us to unknown lands and provide a captivating break from our chaotic reality. As children, most of us have watched, read or listened to fairy tales; you may have your favourite plots and characters that stand out. But who says fairy tales are only meant for children? Many of us love to rewatch our favourite fairy tales. People of all ages can enjoy and learn from them, and with their magical ability to bring fantasy to life, they strike a chord in every heart. Do fairy tales hold any significance other than entertainment? Yes, they do. Tales of fairyland are a great way to make children learn significant life lessons.
Here are the subtle life lessons in popular fairy tales.
Little Red Riding Hood: Looks can be deceiving
Although her mother warns against wandering in the woods, Little Red Riding Hood decides to take a shorter route through the woods to her grandmother’s and gets spotted by a wicked wolf. The wolf dresses like her grandmother and almost succeeds in fooling the little girl when, just in the nick of time, she realizes the wolf’s trick. Little Red Riding Hood thinks on her feet to save both herself and her grandmother from the wolf’s wrongful intentions.
This age-old tale teaches us the life lesson to think critically and be practical. The key to preventing others from fooling you is to trust your instincts rather than trust a stranger. Putting your faith in a person too soon may not work out in your favour, however sweet or appealing they may appear. Be kind, but not gullible.
Cinderella: Asking for help does not make you weak
Disheartened by the inhumane treatment from her stepmother and step-sisters, Cinderella loses hope in her happily ever after. Even when she gets a chance to go to a ball and dance with a royal prince, she is too scared to take it. Fortunately, when she seeks help from a fairy godmother it turns out better than she could have imagined. (A twist in the tale comes in the latest Cinderella movie wherein she takes charge of her life and doesn’t depend on others to turn her life around.)
A great life lesson to learn here is to ask for help when things get out of hand. It will not only make it easier to go through the ups and downs of life, but will also allow you to foster long-lasting relationships. Strong people believe in themselves and in growing together.
The Princess and the Frog: Do not judge a book by its cover
In this fairy tale, a spoiled princess reluctantly befriends a frog after he retrieves her golden ball for the promised reward of her friendship. She had no intention of keeping the promise and laughed it away. However, following an interesting turn of events, she had to keep him close. Throughout the time that the frog is with her, the princess thinks of him as a weird, sticky creature. When the frog asks her to grant him a kiss saying that he would disappear after that, she kisses him thinking she would get rid of him. To her surprise, the frog turns into an attractive young man. Witnessing his transformation, the princess understands that it was this man who had helped her on so many occasions. It is then that she realizes her folly for judging him so harshly as an ugly frog.
This is one of the most important life lessons that one must remember at all times; the less judgmental we are, the more acceptance we gain. With less judgment clouding our perception, we can see someone’s true colours.
Beauty and the Beast: Love and kindness defeat fears and doubts
Initially, the Beast is depicted as someone dangerous who everyone is scared of, including the female protagonist, Belle. After Belle comes into his life, the Beast starts to become softer and kinder. She sees through his external beastly appearance to find a kind soul inside. Though both of them struggle to face their fears and doubts, they find true happiness when they choose love and kindness. Eventually, her love breaks the spell the Beast was trapped in and transforms him back into the charming prince that he really was.
The famous quote from this fairy tale, “Love does not have to be perfect, it just needs to be true” sums it up nicely. It applies to all the relationships in one’s life, be it family, friends or even friendly acquaintances. When you show up with pure intentions, people understand and respect you more.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Don’t let your insecurities overpower you
Snow White’s wicked stepmother, also known as the Evil Queen, is among the strongest antagonists portrayed in classic fairy tales. Driven by her insecurities and jealousy, the Evil Queen sees Snow White as a threat. She orders a huntsman to take Snow White into a forest and kill her. Fortunately he spares the girl’s life, and Snow White finds a home with seven dwarfs. However, years later, her stepmother finds a way to poison her but doesn’t succeed.
Snow White never humiliates her stepmother in any way, rather it is the Evil Queen’s insecurities that push her to engage in shameful deeds that serve her no good. This goes on to show how people can give in to negative emotions, turning a blind eye to what’s good and bad. However, sooner or later, they fall prey to their malicious intentions and spoil everything for themselves as well as others around them.
Fairy tales convey meaningful messages without being preachy. The lessons learned in life from these fictional stories are timeless. Hold on to these lessons and make way for a happy and successful life.
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