Forget Sunday school lessons. The British Aristocrats and servants at Downton Abbey are teaching adults life’s most important lessons every Sunday night. In case you’re only following the surface plot line, allow me to take you deeper into the true midlife and third act lessons you can apply today.
# 1 Quit Complaining and Go Make Yourself Useful
Who could blame poor Edith for complaining about having to work so hard for attention compared to her more beautiful sisters? Violet quickly nips her negativity in the bud because the longer we wallow the more we delay the great things to come.
“Don’t be defeatist, dear. It’s very middle class.” Violet Crawley to Edith
# 2 Marry for Love, Not the Other Three Things
Marrying for position, money, or obligation is oh so 20th Century. Love is the proper foundation for marriage and when choosing your spouse you need to remember one thing, according the brash Violet Crawley.
“Marriage is a long business. Choose the correct woman (or man).”
Love is always astir among the servants and aristocrats at Downton Abbey. While poor choices are swept under the rug such as Lady Mary’s one-night stand with Kemal Pamuk, true love is usually in the next bedroom or village.
Lord Grantham stops his daughter Lady Mary from marrying Sir Richard Carlisle because of Carlisle’s iron claw courtship ways and bullying temperament.
Grantham tells his daughter, “I want a good man for you, a brave man. Find a cowboy in the Middle West and bring him back to shake us up a bit.”
When head housemaid Anna is asked why she wants to have a rush wedding at the Justice of the Peace with Mr. Bates just before he’s sent away to prison for allegedly murdering his former wife, Anna delivers a loved-based answer before Mrs. Hughes can bark her next order.
“I’d rather have the right man, than the right wedding,” Anna speaking of Bates.
# 4 You Got to Change Your Evil Ways, Baby
Thomas Barrow and Mrs. (Sarah) O’Brien plot doom on all mankind and are the Baron and Baroness Bullies at Downton Abbey.
Thomas, coined the evil gay of Downton Abbey, and spinster O’Brien vent their sexual repression by twisting daggers in the most innocent and vulnerable. Thomas and O’Brien steal, spread rumors, and try to get any one falsely fired just for the fun of it. Their evil ways further isolate them from the world the so desperately want to be a part of.
“You will never reach higher ground if you are always pushing others down.” – Jeffrey Benjamin
# 5 Regardless of the Screwup, There’s Always a Plan B
When Mary has a one-night stand, which ends in the death of her lover and her mother Lady Cora Grantham calling her damaged goods, the ladies of Grantham plot how to get married “settled” if no one will have her now. Cora and Violet speak of taking Mary abroad to find a husband.
“In these situations, one can always find an Italian who isn’t too picky,” remarks Violet.
When Downton faces bankruptcy because of a bad stock investment in the railroads made by Lord Grantham, not all is lost. A least likely inheritance appears for cousin Matthew Crawley to save the day.
Where’s there’s a will, there’s a way. Old English Proverb
I’ll leave you with a Downton example of mind over matter. When Matthew Crawley learns he my never walk again following a war injury, he keeps his chin up for the family. He then regains feeling in his legs and begins teaching himself to walk again with the use of a cane.
Lady Mary lovingly stays close by to assist him. She asks, “Can you manage without your stick?”
“You are my stick,” says Matthew.
Please grab a cub or tea and chat me up.
Who is your favorite character and why?
Do you wish you lived in that century?
Would you like to be dressed every morning (by a maid)?
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