The movie 12 Angry Men debuted 65 years ago. However, it has remained a classic film that still captures attention today. Although set in the past, it offers valuable insight with practical application in our everyday lives. The film tells the story of a young boy accused of killing his father. However, because of America’s belief that a person is innocent until proven guilty, the duty of examining the suspect fell on the shoulders of the jury.
Based on the evidence, the jury verdict must be unanimous. If the teenager had been found guilty, he would have been sentenced to the electric chair with charges of premeditated first-degree murder. But prejudice and stereotype lead all jurors except one to an immediate guilty verdict, even without any discussion. Unsurprisingly, teachers often give assignments and tests on the case study. If students want to study available essay samples, they can examine A+ grade Twelve Angry Men essays carefully written by professional writers. In the end, the defendant was acquitted, but not after an intense court session.
The 12 Angry Men film was voted the second-best courtroom drama ever by the American Film Institute. Below are 7 lessons the 12 Angry Men story can teach you about life.
Lesson 1. It only takes more confidence to love than it does to hate
Juror 8 was the first juror to disagree with condemning the teenager to the electric chair without any discussion, even when other jurors favored the guilty verdict. Have you ever been in a situation where something is obviously out of place, but you couldn’t do anything about it? Sometimes, we say a few words in our heads and pretend that evil does not exist so we can feel better about ourselves.
Contrary to this belief of following the crowd, the best way to be authentic is to be true to yourself and speak out. Even juror 8 made it clear that he was unsure whether the boy was guilty or the opposite. Regardless, he believed they should talk about the issue. With so many wrongs in the world, a little love won’t hurt anyone.
Lesson 2. Prejudice always blocks the energy of confidently connecting
Remember what they say about the first impression? Yes, that it matters the most. Well, it is plain silly to judge a person after interacting with them for only a few seconds. If you do, it is a demonstration of how close-minded you are.
Holding on to prejudices is one of the fastest ways to miss out on conversations and connections. For example, one of the prejudices of the jurors from 12 Angry Men was that the boy came from a poor neighborhood. Although true, how does being poor equate to being a murderer? Regardless of culture, background, appearance, and education, we must strive to treat everyone equally.
Lesson 3. Whenever possible, offer leadership
A leader is often born in times of need. Unlike people who feel entitled to leadership positions, true leaders step up during adversity and use the platform to build influence and bring everyone together. Like juror 8, when you are convinced of an idea, you don’t need to agree with the majority because no one else is on your side. Instead, you can talk reason into the mind of others and convince them to agree with your perspective.
Lesson 4. Patience is a virtue
Patience is a virtue – one that most people don’t possess. The 12 Angry Men analysis showed the 11 jurors would have unanimously rendered a guilty verdict if there hadn’t been opposition from Juror 8. Besides the prejudices, they spent little time studying the case details. But after a careful evaluation, they realized their mistakes and saw how costly they could have been.
Someday, you will come to a crossroads, requiring you to make decisions that can have lasting implications on your life. In this situation, the best thing is to sit on your hands and exercise patience. Think deeply about the step you are about to take so you won’t regret it for the rest of your life.
Lesson 5. Give others a chance to explain their stand
Mistakes and slip-ups are painful, especially when it costs you something. However, you will be surprised you can resolve most disagreements if you give room for explanation. Before bashing someone for a mistake, give them the gift of a chance, even when you feel they don’t deserve it. After all, it feels good to believe in someone. Everybody wants a chance, and this includes you. Do it in faith and wait for the outcome.
Lesson 6. Take a risk, it pays off
Do you know what the biggest risk is? Not taking any risks. When you live a life of fear, you can’t embrace opportunities. Risks build your confidence and character. More importantly, it builds faith in you, knowing you have done it before and can repeat it. Besides, small risks will create a pattern that will motivate you to take your chances on larger endeavors, even when they all don’t end in success.
Lesson 7. Choosing right over easy
Life is not easy, and there is no reason to pretend it is. However, doing what is right will make life better for you and the people around you. One of the mistakes people make is assuming their choices and individual actions affect only a particular circumstance or moment. But it is not. These losses compound until you eventually notice them. Taking the easy road in your quest to become a better person will defeat your overall progress. Therefore, reject comfort and stretch yourself until you are satisfied with the shape of your identity.
The 12 Angry Men movie is a must-watch for everyone. We learn every day, but sometimes, we must relearn certain lessons to develop a balanced approach to life. It is not uncommon to have a different perspective from others. However, amid the disagreement, we can offer leadership and help proffer solutions. All in all, it is worth watching 12 Angry Men and remembering all the important lessons.
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