Pocahontas: Different = Bad….. Right?
By Shannon McCarter (@)
Ever since I was a little girl, I never really thought much about Pocahontas. I mean, sure, she was cool, but she wasn’t as “princess-y” as the others which tended to make me forget that she was even labeled as a Princess. I also never understood why the Disney Myers-Briggs said that she was an INFJ, like me. However, I’ve realized something about Pocahontas that I never noticed before: she is the reason I always try to see both sides of an argument. She has showed me that we should never blindly pass judgment, but instead seek to understand.
Right off the bat, when her tribe writes off the settlers as evil invaders, and the settlers in turn see them a savages, Pocahontas doesn’t see it that way. Sure, these strangers look and live differently than she does, but she doesn’t jump the gun and start making assumptions. Instead, Pocahontas wants to learn everything she can about them so that she can make an informed decision about how she feels. This theme of understanding rings loud and clear throughout both movies; I mean almost every song is about it (case and point: “They’re different from us which means they can’t be trusted” – line from the song Savages). Both sides, her tribe and the Englishmen, are always on the brink of war because they don’t understand each other, and yet despite all this unrest Pocahontas keeps a level head. She, unlike everyone else, observes the world around her and gathers all the information before she acts.
Some might see this as Pocahontas just being curious, but upon closer inspection you can see that it goes deeper than that. When the others in her tribe see the settlers, they are instantly worried and afraid. But when Pocahontas sees John Smith, even as she’s staring down the barrel of his gun, she doesn’t cower in fear; she assesses the situation and stays calm. After all, we see what happens when one side freaks out later on and nothing good came from it. This calm observation can also be seen in how Pocahontas interacts with nature: is this bear attacking me because it’s evil, or is it just protecting its cubs? Now that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be cautious of something unfamiliar, but you also shouldn’t write it off as bad just because you don’t understand it.
This lesson couldn’t be more relevant in, today’s society. In this time when deviation from the norm is becoming more commonplace, we still see people who blindly judge others because they don’t understand them. In fact, some will refuse to even try to see the other side of an argument for fear that it will somehow “taint” their precious point of view. It seems like everyone could use a good dose of Pocahontas right now; after all, if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew.
About The Author
Shannon McCarter of Nashville TN
I’m a lover of movies, TV, and books (especially books) and I love to talk about them! I am often seen reading and when I have headphones in I’m probably listening to a book. I post written spoiler free reviews of what I’ve been reading on my blog at http://plantnerd96.tumblr.com/ and every Monday I discuss the books a little bit more in depth and try (fail) to contain my inner fangirl on my YouTube channel Still Waiting For My Satyr!