The lessons from Dead Poets Society

 Oh captain! My captain!…

The famous line from the infamous poem by Walt Whitman, bearing the same name. This is how the students would address their teacher John Keating, played by the amazing Robin Williams. Oh Captain! My Captain!

The major theme was Cape diem. The famous verse from the movie still rings in my ears “Carpe, carpe. Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”

The emotions that rise up in me when watching that movie are completely unreal. I become a fighter against those trying to tell me what to do, and how to live my life. I become a romantic, and ponder every single word that drips out of my mouth. A fire lights within the deepest crevasses of my soul, TO GO! TO DO! TO BE EXTRAORDINARY! 

Then my heart breaks. I will not spoil the movie for you if you have not watched it, I urge you to take time to watch this masterpiece.

Fighting against the ordinary

Learning to walk your own walk. Seizing the day. Doing something extraordinary that you want, not what someone else wants for you. The biggest struggle in this movie is between the parents, and the group of main characters. The parents seem to dictate everything they do, including forcing them to go to this school, picking out their classes, forcing on what degrees they get, what they will do for the rest of their lives. The characters struggle to find their own voice, to fight against the ordinary.

They do however find an outlet. The Dead Poets Society.  This was an organization they discovered while looking in an old annual, looking up on John Keating. They asked what the D.P.S. was, and he explained it was about sharing poetry, and verse, and original compositions. This organization was unsanctioned by the school, and looked down upon. From my gathering, it was more about finding your voice, being who YOU are regardless of what others want you to be, and learning to Carpe Diem!

“Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, ‘Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.’ Don’t be resigned to that. Break out!”

Time is short, your days are numbered

I don’t want this to turn into a movie review, so I will share something actionable you can do today.


Seems almost…tooo easy. Seriously though. There’s no tomorrow, there’s no yesterday. There’s really only today. Right now. We live only in the now.

I didn’t really want to write or finish this blog today. I wanted to sit back, watch a movie, relax, maybe read a book. What a hypocrite I would be though. I figured that if I can get this message out, it might be the one thing you need to push you over the edge, and do something incredible that you have been sitting on for a long time. How amazing would that be?


Seriously…stop. Other people’s opinion is not your reality. No matter what someone else wants you to think, or do, you have to figure out what you want, and what YOU want to do. Then go do that thing. Don’t worry if other people think it’s crazy, a waste of time, not worth it, or whatever it may be. They have their excuses for not doing amazing things, don’t let their excuses become your own.


You have to learn to speak up for yourself. To voice your opinion. To speak YOUR truth. It’s uncomfortable, it’s nerving, it’s vital. Honestly, I’m not sure how to teach this. Other than tell you to just stop worrying about what people think. The truth is, you worry about what other people think, but those other people are probably not really thinking about you. So stop worrying about what they think, because it doesn’t matter.

One final thought, and quote from the movie before we go.

“believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing, turn cold and die.”


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