Me Before You, originally known as the best-selling book by Jojo Moyes, is now a major motion picture that has left a great emotional impact on audiences. The film’s heartrending story and honest characters teach many valuable life lessons that are often times overlooked in the busy lives we lead.
Although Me Before You may seem like a selfish title, it has more to do with who the main characters were before they met each other.
Worlds intertwine when the spunky and cheerful Louisa “Lou” Clark (played by Emilia Clarke, known from Game of Thrones) becomes the caregiver for Will Traynor (British heartthrob Sam Clafin), a wealthy young man who became quadriplegic after a motorcycle accident. While Lou opens Will to love again, Will teaches Lou to take advantage of and be grateful for all she has been given in life.
This romantic and touching story teaches us significant lessons worthy of keeping throughout our lives:
1. Be thankful for what you have and appreciate the little things.
Will makes us realize that the little things in life are actually big things, such as being able to walk to places and live freely without any limitations. You don’t always realize just how lucky you have it until a life-changing event happens, which is exactly what happened to Will. Everyone has bad days, but sometimes we forget that there are people who have it much worse than us.
2. Live boldly and have no regrets – “Just live.”
While Lou is happy settling with a simple life, Will pushes her to become more active as he once was before he became quadriplegic. There are so many amazing opportunities to take advantage of and it’s up to us to seize every moment. Will teaches us to take every chance you get in life because some things only happen once. We shouldn’t regret the actions we take in life, rather we should appreciate the lessons they have taught us.
3. Quality outweighs quantity.
Although we sometimes think that the longer we live the better, the quality of our lives is far more important. By quality, I mean being blessed with happiness, good health and love. We shouldn’t count the things we do in a day; rather we should do the things that count. How we live our lives counts for more than the number of years we live.
4. Be compassionate toward others.
Lou is the most selfless, kind and caring character in Me Before You. She puts others before herself, including Will and her family. She works hard to support her family and opens Will’s heart to love again. Lou shows us that helping those in need and just smiling at someone can go a long way. Compassion is contagious and it is something we should strive for everyday.
5. Love heals pain; embrace it.
In order to experience love, we have to put ourselves out there and be vulnerable. This is not the easiest thing to do, but when we open our hearts to one another just as Lou and Will did, it can change everything. Despite the difficult time that Will was going through, it was Lou’s love that inspired and motivated him to get up every morning. The greatest gift we can give to someone is loving them through the good and the bad and being there for them when they need us the most.
6. Live life to the fullest.
“YOLO” holds true to this statement. You only live once, so you should cherish every moment and take advantage of every opportunity you receive in life. For in the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.
“You only get one life… it’s your duty to live it as fully as possible.” – Will Traynor