I read a blog post recently – Ten Lessons Every 21st Century Woman Can Learn from Jane Austen. It was delightful and spot-on. I won’t revisit the list here because it might influence my thinking –you can find linked on Katherine’s Facebook Page – but it got me pondering what this incomparable author has taught me over the years…
- Never judge people too soon – or perhaps never at all. There’s the obvious pointer to Elizabeth Bennet here. What a misjudgment she made! But Elizabeth isn’t the only character who “never knew myself ” – and it wasn’t only Darcy she misjudged. Elizabeth also misjudges, Charlotte; Emma, Miss Bates; Marianne, Elinor… The list is endless and I suspect it’s that way because it’s a common failing. We constantly judge people, and wrongly.
- A walk is always a good thing. Need to clear your head? Take a moment walking outside. Need to gain some perspective or relax? Again, take a walk. Need exercise and a chance to enjoy the world around, or avoid an unwanted guest – Again… go for a walk. Besides all these benefits, it keeps your figure “light and pleasing.” (Thank you, Darcy, for that visual – he wasn’t talking about walking, but as Elizabeth did a lot of it, I’m sure it helped.)
- Marriage is hard work. There are few older, happily married couples in Austen, but those who demonstrate a firm commitment to working and being together. Mrs. Croft sailed the world with the Admiral. The Gardiners traveled together, laughed together and, when faced with the Lydia situation, they clearly consulted together.
- Know thyself. Pay attention and learn from your mistakes. First and foremost, Austen’s books are journeys in self-discovery. Young heroines learn who they are, where they stand, and who they want to be – and if that comes with love, all the better. So pay attention to the lessons that come your way and learn from them – or you may need to go through them again, and again, and again.
- Respect your parents. Austen clearly shows that’s not always easy. But she also reveals the complexity and enduring dependence within those relationships. We are tied together for life – and our parents deserve our respect. Must remind my children of this one.
There you go. I know there are others… Perhaps I’ll attack another 5 next month. What do you think? Are there lessons you’ve learned and you’d like to share?
Thanks for visiting today!