I had an astonishing experience in class last year. I had led my students to see an old, interesting movie, Sleeping Beauty, aimed at giving them some relaxation time, adding some fun to learning, deepening their understanding of the use of certain words and structures and we were to discuss the lessons from the movie.
Student 1 learned that a mother’s love is true love.
Students 2 said love can heal the hurts of betrayal.
Students 3 believed that the young prince did not really love the princess so his kiss was not effective.
Student 4 had commented that it was the selfishness of King Stephen that brought his doom.
Then came Student 5 who had softly chipped in his view before everyone else but I had wanted to hear others first. Eyes on screen, and with that twisted smile at the corners of his lips which he would always flaunt prior to making a naughty remark.
“Love between same-sex can be true love”, he said again.
Maybe to you, it was no lesson to be amazed at, but drawn from a seemingly unrelated movie, by a married young Chinese living in a society of high media censorship and where a discourse on homosexuality is within a liminal space and is not yet embraced by the society and families, came to me as deeply thought up. I tried not to reveal my surprise as I guided them to deliberate on what true love is, whether same-sex or not.
This hit me like never before. Don’t assume that there is only one lesson from a situation. There are often many lessons. You’re just not seeing them all.