Life lessons from Oliver Queen.
In the last eight seasons, we’ve watched Oliver Queen transform from a playboy to a vigilante, to the mayor, to a husband, to a father, to a hero, and so much more in between. In those eight years, from the time before the island, on the island, going from the hood to the green arrow, and doing what he can to better the community in the daylight and the moonlight, Mr. Queen has taught us some very valuable lessons in that time. While I was getting these Arrow tribute posts together, I couldn’t decide how I wanted to honor Mr. Green Arrow himself without your typical stale kind of hero post, and then I thought of this. Now, I’m sure everyone looks at the green arrow and his story and the story of all the characters and finds different lessons in all of them, and that’s exactly the point. The lessons I found important, might not be the same ones that anyone of you finds important but I hope that if that is the case, you’ll share with me which ones were important to you, either on social media or in the comments below because I’d love to hear them all!
Here is my idea of five important lessons from Oliver Queen.
1. Everything happens for a reason.
In Crisis on Infinite Earths, Sara was named the Paragon of Destiny and rightfully so. The only other person I can think of that might have been able to handle the duty would have been Oliver. Oliver and Sara had a very similar journey in terms of who they were, how the ill-fated trip on the boat changed them, and who they ended up becoming. Both of them turned out to be people they never expected to become, and honestly, they’re both better off for it. If Oliver didn’t get on the Queens Bandit, and if that boat didn’t go down, and he didn’t get stranded on that life raft, and his father didn’t admit all his terrible, terrible secrets, and if Oliver didn’t end up stuck on lian yu, we wouldn’t have a story. It’s very simple. We would not have a story. If Oliver didn’t get on the ship, there is no way to know if he’d change. Honestly, he probably would have remained the spoiled, entitled, rich playboy and probably had a wonderful life. It’s safe to say he’d never meet Diggle or meet Felicity, let alone marry her, and well, you get it… everything would be different. Oliver is not necessarily proud of what he needed to do while on the island, he was scarred from learning more about his father than he was ready too, and he’ll never fully recover from his life on that island, but it all needed to happen in order for someone to save starling city and that person needed to be Oliver Queen. Basically, the purpose of it is that even if you’re not sure the point of your journey, you’re on it for a reason, and you should trust the process, no matter how crazy it all might seem at the time.
2. You are stronger than you think.
Do you think if we could go back in time to the Oliver before he got on that boat and asked him if he could handle the multiple situations he was in as The Green Arrow he’d say yes? I highly doubt it, and if he did, he’d be lying. If we asked him HOW he’d handle the situations, do you think he’d say something other than using his privilege and money? I don’t think so. I would have to assume that throughout his journey on the island, there were numerous times when Oliver questioned whether he could handle it, but he didn’t have a choice, so he did. It’s a really good example of survival instincts. You do not know how you will handle a tough situation until you’re in it. No matter how much setbacks trained for it, or how much you are NOT trained for it, being in it is a whole different ball game. Oliver Queen is most definitely not the only character who discovered their strengths on the show. I have to say that Thea, Roy, Felicity and Laurel, just to name a couple of other characters, also found their strength through the journey of Team Arrow.
3. The importance of letting others in.
I truly believe that if Oliver hadn’t let Diggle and Felicity in, that things would have gone a different way for him. He might have died much sooner, much much sooner. OR he would have gone down a very dark path that there would be no coming back from. Oliver always believed he was better off on his own when in reality, he was better when he had a team alongside him and watching his back. The moment he let others in, his mission became much bigger, it had more meaning, and I really think he helped more people than he ever would have on his own. His mission started out as righting his fathers wrongs, and he became a vigilante in order to do that, but then his mission changed from saving the city from a few, to saving the city from many and through that he went from being a vigilante to being a hero. Oliver Queen is the perfect example of how important it can be to drop the lone wolf act and ask for help, let others help you, trust other people, and in doing so, you’ll realize you’re better together.
4. It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, all that matters is that you get back up.
Oliver was never one to handle setbacks or failures very well. And I think it’s the fact that he had a team around him, that he even got remotely better at handling it. No one wants to fail, no one wants to take one step forward and then two steps back, but sometimes that’s just how the chips fall because no one is perfect, no mission is perfect, no plan is perfect. You can fail as much as you want as long as you LEARN from it. Personally, that’s important to me. Failure is a part of life, but you have to take that failure and do something about it. You cannot fail and then fall apart, you have to keep fighting, you have to keep moving forward. Oliver attributes this to failed missions, failure to stop a bad guy or save someone; for me, I attribute it to my mental health. No matter how you apply it, it’s a very important life lesson that anyone can benefit from.
5. Your past does not define you.
Who you were doesn’t mean it’s who you’ll always be. If you want to change, if you do the work to change, you can change. I really believe that. Oliver Queen didn’t think he could be anyone except for the guy on the island. After doing the things, he needed to do, whether on the island or in Russia or anywhere else, he didn’t think he could be good. It’s an important lesson to remember that who you were doesn’t mean it’s who you’ll always be.
Being happy doesn’t mean you don’t have issues.
It just means that you’re working on them.
– Oliver Queen.