Whether movies are showing us that no dream is too big to follow or how to get back up when we fall down, they are the place where many of us first learned those huge life lessons. So even in this age of instant gratification, when we get everything we want just the moment we want it, there’s a reason why movies still hold a special place in our hearts: simply put it, the whole experience is a little bit magical.

Finding Nemo

“Just keep swimming,” – it’s the lesson that Dory, the forgetful blue fish, teaches us all and we can’t think of a better motto to embrace. Times will be tough, we will all feel lost and afraid at different points in our lives and yes, we will want to give up sometimes. We may feel like our fish tank is overflowing, other times it feels as though the water is gone and we are just flopping around. Whatever our current situation, we must keep swimming! Sometimes the best things are just ahead of us and we will never get there if we stop swimming, stop believing, or give up.

Home alone

Can you believe that 30 years have already passed since Home alone entered our lives? Yup, that many! And our adult version may see the movie as a plea for kids’ independence. The movie seems to be saying that kids are smarter than we think. Home alone is like an anti-helicopter parenting movie. Kevin proves that, even at the age of eight, he can fend for himself and take care of his home—and he does it all with crazy kid logic.
However, the most important lesson is that even though they might get on your nerves sometimes (or all the time), your family – and all of their craziness – is kind of amazing.

Miracle on 34th street

“I believe . . . I believe . . . it’s silly, but I believe”. Little 2nd grader Susan (played by Natalie Wood) repeats that phrase over and over on Christmas Day…Not only does the film criticise the commercialism of Christmas, it also reminds us what the festive period is really about: believing in something better. Believing is seeing. You must BELIEVE you can have whatever you want. You must BELIEVE you can be and do whatever you want to achieve.

Gilmore girls

A series that centered on the mother/daughter relationship and a personal favorite. Give unconditional love, but also tough love to your kids – may be the most important lesson the show teaches. Most of the series, Lorelai gives ample love to Rory but also gives tough love when needed. When Rory sleeps with married Dean, Lorelai calls her out. When Rory drops out of Yale, Lorelai also expresses her disapproval. For almost everything, Lorelai gives love and support to Rory. However, she is also not afraid to be honest and to give tough love when needed.

There are so many other great movies that touch us and sometimes shape who we are. Which one do you think should be on the list?