Like many other people, I seem to find that all the life lessons I need to know are given somewhere within Disney. The most recent one I learned applies to everyone. Although, I think it’s especially important for teens because we have the most choices to make out of everyone on the planet. I learned this lesson in Cars 2 from everyone’s favorite tow truck, Mater!
In high school you meet people of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds, as crazy and as different as all the creatures in Wonderland. There are things you like and don’t like about everyone you meet. A friend might embarrass you much like how Mater embarrassed Lightning at the kick-off party in “Tow”kyo for the World Grand Prix. Or maybe a friend won’t believe you’re telling the truth, just like how Lightning doesn’t believe Mater.
I see a lot of teens trying to change their friends (and girlfriends trying to change their boyfriends and vice versa). They think that they can make their friend (or sweetheart) change when really they can’t. They either need to love all of that person, including their flaws, or find help and get out if the relationship is abusive (either physically or emotionally) or just plain dead. Either way they need to stop lying to themselves and other people.
Mater and Lightning go through so much together, and they still stay friends because Lightning realizes that Mater is “the bomb” for just being the crazy, charming, rusty, pistachio ice cream eating, backwards-driving car that he is. Also, even after Lightning is mean to Mater and tells him to change, Mater is still loyal to his friend. He stays true to who he is and becomes a hero (and a knight!) for being himself. Together, the two of them are capable of anything, from tractor tipping to saving the world. This is because they have learned to accept each other’s differences and what is special about each of them.
Throughout high school and life you’ll lose some friends, and you’ll make new ones, but one thing never changes: You have to accept people for who they are; you can’t expect to change them because it won’t happen. Sometimes, though, you can be a positive influence and save people from making critical mistakes. People will make you win and lose races, but it’s the people who cheer you on and wait at the finish line who will always love you. Thank you Mater for this gift of knowledge!
Contributed by: Hannah N. (NDT#23) Hannah is the DDL Teens’ Viewpoint Blogger.