Evil, maniacal, sinister, manipulative, and crazy are five words I would use to describe the legendary comic book, television, and movie villain The Joker. In some instances of the Batman story, The Joker is credited with the murder of Batman’s parents. Such a devilish character could not possibly have any redeeming qualities or life advice to give, right? Wrong. In the film “The Dark Knight,” The Joker without even realizing it was giving us all some great life lessons.
“If you are good at something, never do it for free.” – The Joker, The Dark Knight
When asked by the mobsters why he cannot just kill Batman on his own, The Joker lets them immediately know his reason. The Joker is so good at killing, or so he claims, that to end Batman’s life without getting paid for it would be worthless. The same advice should be given to everyone throughout life. When you have a skill, earn something from it. Money, opportunity, or anything else valuable to you, never let a talent be a hobby you do to please others.
“I believe whatever doesn’t kill you simply makes you…stranger.” – The Joker, The Dark Knight
Does whatever doesn’t kill us make us stronger or as The Joker suggests, stranger? The answer is most likely both. The more life we live, the stranger we become. We realize our social norms are not as true as we were made to believe. Plus, how weird are grandparents? They have had so many things not kill them by the time they reach octogenarian age and they are some of the strangest people around. So maybe this quote will not improve your life, but it can at least help you accept the future idea that you will become a surviving weirdo.
“You can’t rely on anyone these days, you gotta do everything yourself, don’t we?” The Joker, The Dark Knight
People are simply unreliable. The Joker knows that, we know that, or at least we should. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Even as cunning as The Joker is, he still cannot find reliable help. Often times it will feel like no matter how many times we use the word “help” that it never arrives. The context of this line was far different than any situation many of us would be in; The Joker assuming the citizens of Gotham City would not sacrifice themselves in order to save others. If only The Joker had not been so reliant on other people he may not have ended up hanging upside down from a skyscraper when the police arrived.
“Why so serious?” The Joker, The Dark Knight
Many people take life too seriously. The Joker could have explained this further and in a less horrifying way, but the life advice he gives means the same thing. Behind the killing of innocents and love of anarchy, The Joker was a guy with a great sense of humor who never took anything too seriously. Even his plans of destruction never were thought out enough, destined to fail from the start. Political correctness, self-absorption, and thinking we are more important than we actually are has become rampant. Our senses of humor have diminished. Why are we so serious? There’s no good answer.
All quotes from The Joker played by Heath Ledger in the 2008 film ‘The Dark Knight.’ Quotes were taken from IMDB.com for accuracy.