J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy novel, The Lord of the Rings, has enthralled millions of readers. Written over a 12 year period, from 1937 to 1949, the Lord of the Rings is one of the best-selling books of all time, having sold over 150 million copies. Published in three parts over the course of 1954-1955, the book tells the tale of a sheltered Hobbit, Frodo Baggins, who finds that grand adventures aren’t all they’re cracked up to be and that there really is no place like home.
Frodo’s quest to destroy powerful and destructive ring almost destroys him in the process. Fortunately for Frodo, he’s got some good friends to help him out along the way, as well as a sort of guardian angel or two watching out for him.
Whether or not you’ve read the book (and if you haven’t, don’t fret-no spoilers here) there’s some valuable life lessons to be learned from young Master Baggins as he goes about his quest and fulfills his destiny.
1. Heed the Advice of Those Who Have Gone Before You
Gandalf the Grey is a wise and grizzled wizard, and old friend of Frodo’s family, who knows of the destructive power the ring holds. When he tells Frodo to leave his rural home in the Shire and take the ring with him, Frodo has his doubts. He doesn’t want to leave the Shire; he doesn’t understand about the Ring, and he can’t see what his part is in the big picture.
So what does he do? He trusts Gandalf’s advice, heeds his instruction, and leaves the Shire, taking the Ring with him. Sometimes, we’ve got to admit that maybe we don’t know it all, that someone older and wiser may know more than we do, and then follow their advice and do what they suggest.
2. Don’t Go It Alone
Frodo didn’t have to go on his quest alone; he had his best friend, Samwise Gamgee, as well as his cousins Merry and Pippin to accompany him. Further down the road, he found more help in the form of a Ranger running from his past, an elf, a dwarf and a host of other creatures, all with vital parts to play in helping him reach his goal. Some of them weren’t exactly the kind of people he would have handpicked for friends, but each was able to help him in ways he could have never foreseen. Don’t go it alone out there, and keep an open mind you never know who might be vitally important in helping you reach your goals.
3. Don’t Let the Past Dictate Your Future
That Ranger running from his past? He’s the descendant of a King, destined to be a King himself. Did he realize that? No. He was caught up in the past. A shameful history in which his ancestor, the former King, missed the chance to destroy evil forever. Strider, the Ranger, who was ridiculed and rejected by his people, was actually Aragorn, the hero who saves the day. Let go of the past, and whatever shameful secret it holds. Put it behind you, and don’t let it dictate who you are today. Always looking back can result in failing to see the possibilities that lie ahead.
4. Finish What You Start
In the beginning, Frodo had doubts about his ability to see this mission through to the end. He was just a hobbit, far from home, dealing with forces far greater and far more powerful than he. But when it came right down to it, when there was squabbling over who should continue to carry the ring to the end and see to its destruction, Frodo knew he was the one to do the job. He had started this thing, had left his home and come this far. He knew that it was only right that, come what may, he needed to finish. Perseverance, faith, stubbornness-call it what you like. Sometimes, you just got to hunker down, take a deep breath, and finish what you start.
So there you have it 4 valuable life lessons. To learn more about Frodo, his quest, and the lessons to be learned when you’re in the belly of the proverbial beast, read “Life Lessons from the Lord of The Rings: Part 2.”
Do you have any other Lord Of the Rings life lessons?