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6 Important Life Lessons From Fairy Tales

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From “Once Upon a Time” and “Grimm” on television to the upcoming Snow White films in the movie theaters, fairy tales are experiencing a big comeback. But what important lessons can these age-old stories impart on a society that no longer has kingdoms or straw-built housing developments? Here are but a few notable ideas that still resonate through the centuries.


Fathers Should Never Remarry or Go Near Another Woman


From the Evil Queen outsourcing Snow White’s death to Cinderella being made to scrub toilets with the same brush she used for her teeth and hair, whenever a dad remarries it means slave labor and outdoor heart surgery for the kiddies. Hence the motherless characters in such far more upbeat Disney fairytales as “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Cars.”


It’s Okay if You’re Not Attractive So Long as You Grow up to Be Gorgeous


On initial read, “The Ugly Duckling” appears to be about why you should never make fun of someone for being awkward or unconventional in appearance. But what it’s really about is simply not jumping the gun on calling someone ugly. That’s because they might grow up to be drop dead beautiful yet have absolutely nothing to do with you due to your premature insults, leaving you little time to wonder why exactly you found a bird hot in the first place.


When All Else Fails, Break and Enter


Whether you’re twins abandoned by your parents as an unnecessary business expense, a girl who thinks nothing of ruining some bears’ only shot at home ownership because you’re too cheap to make reservations at a Ramada Inn or a wolf who just wants to eat clothed pork, it is perfectly acceptable to break into a stranger’s home—or just demolish it outright—so long as it’s in the middle of nowhere or all the wall moldings are made out of Twinkies.


You’re Nothing without Powerful Friends


Would Cinderella have been able to meet her Prince without her Fairy Godmother? Would Sleeping Beauty have been able to make it through her ordeal without her three Fairy Godmothers? Would Pinocchio have been able to turn into a little boy—thereby giving an unsuspecting Geppetto a massive coronary—without his Blue Fairy? Of course not! That’s because according to fairy tales unless you have powerful allies with such limitless powers that they can turn gourds into road-tested vehicles, you can dream about a better life all you want but you’re still going to die alone, in a coma or from wood rot.


Birds Are a Cheap Source of Labor


Whether helping Cinderella with her many household chores despite being unable to properly wield a can of Lemon Pledge, giving Snow White someone to talk to or dance with so she didn’t seem outright crazy mumbling and twirling by herself in the woods or doing all the actual work for the shoemaker after the elves broke into his liquor cabinet and collectively got piss drunk on a thimble of Jägermeister, birds routinely proved themselves willing slaves thanks to a poor grasp of worker’s compensation and the importance of contract renegotiation.


Every Time You Make a Deal You Get Screwed


If the story of “Rumpelstiltskin” taught us anything it’s that you should always read the fine print, always get a lawyer to handle any business transaction, and never make deals with creatures who wish to circumvent China’s complicated adoption procedures by spinning gold in exchange for your first-born.

What other life lessons can you learn from fairy tales?

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