How WONDER WOMAN Inspires Leaving Your Safe Space

Warning: Wonder Woman spoilers follow.

A temperate climate, lush foliage, a sparkling ocean— Wonder Woman‘s Themyscira is Paradise Island for many reasons. The Amazons don’t lack for anything necessary for their survival. It’s a cocoon of safety where no one hears or utters the words “Well, actually” in a condescending tone. Warrior women spend their time honing their fighting prowess in case battle with outsiders comes to pass… but no one leaves. Themyscira is a safe space, a comfort zone. And Diana leaves it all behind to stop a war and save humankind.I have a safe space, too. It’s less glamorous than Themyscira. Mine is my cozy apartment–specifically, my couch. I arm myself with a blanket, a cat (whenever she deems me worthy of snuggling), a cold glass of whiskey, and a story I can escape into. I retreat there at the end of long days, when I’m floored by the state of the world, when I get home from a social event and need to recharge my introvert batteries—probably too damn much, if we’re being honest. Comfort zones are comforting, after all.

And we do need them. We all need a place where we can recover and rest and be ready for what’s ahead, to brace ourselves if necessary. Some need these places more than others. Some insist they don’t have a safe space while going to the same barstool, recliner, or bakery on a regular basis to soothe themselves with the balm of familiarity. Taking a little time to replenish your stores isn’t the same as retreating and hiding from the world around you. That said, the latter is all too easy to do.

After seeing Wonder Woman and having the movie on my mind in some way every waking hour, I find myself constantly asking this question: What would Diana do? The question applies to myriad topics, on scales big and worldly and small and personal. And when asked in regard to the retreat to our comfort zones, the answer comes down to this: get off your butt, leave your island, and do what’s right. That’s what Diana would do. That’s what she did.

How can I best support the policies and organizations I believe in?
What would Diana do?
How do I elevate voices that are relevant to current topics and discussions?
What would Diana do?
Do I really need to make this pain in the ass call about insurance I’ve been meaning to take care for weeks?
What would Diana do?
Should I go to this event even though all the socializing will make me feel awkward and uncomfortable?
What would Diana do?

She wouldn’t sit around and bemoan the idiocy and despair in the world, that’s for damn sure. She wouldn’t move an item on her to-do list from day to day with the “I’ll do it eventually” mindset. She would do whatever was in her power to effect change. I also imagine she wouldn’t let anxiety and fear hold her back. She saw a problem, she moved to fix it. She didn’t obsess over whether her actions made those around her uncomfortable. She pushed forward.

Diana’s bravery shone time and time again in Wonder Woman. She usually wasn’t aware of it, like when she stormed into a meeting where women clearly weren’t welcome. She didn’t think facing the treacherous space of dirt in No Man’s Land was brave, either; she viewed her movement across the field as something that needed to be done because it was the right thing.

In my eyes, her leaving the shores of the only home she’s ever known is an act of bravery just as meaningful as her climbing up the ladder and out of the trenches. Her mother–you know, just the Queen of the Amazons, no big deal–didn’t encourage Diana to go into the world of humans and save them. She wanted to hold Diana back to keep her safe. None of her Amazon sisters volunteered to travel by Diana’s side. I mention this not because I think those who stayed behind were wrong (they were probably worried about the possibility of more incoming soldiers), but because it makes Diana’s decision to leave all the more remarkable.

Among all the Amazons, it was Diana who stepped up to say the world wasn’t going to end on her watch. It was Diana who decided she would take it upon herself to save innocent lives. It was Diana who didn’t listen when Hippolyta told her humankind didn’t deserve her. It was Diana who left her safe space–maybe the safest space on the planet–to do the right thing.

We have so much to learn from her.

Images: Warner Bros.

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