Today, July 22nd, marks Margery Williams birthday! If this author sounds familiar, it might be because you've heard of her beloved book, The Velveteen Rabbit. This book catapulted Margery Williams to fame when it was published in 1922, and it's easy to see why.
The Velveteen Rabbit is a beautiful story about a stuffed bunny who becomes a real rabbit through the love of a little boy, and is chock full of valuable lessons for both children and adults. Read on for 5 wonderful life lessons you can take away from The Velveteen Rabbit!
1. Looks don't matter
In today's society, we tend to put a lot of importance on being young, thin, and beautiful. Not only does The Velveteen Rabbit teach us that it's okay to be none of those things, it also shows us how transitory, and ultimately unimportant, looks are. Remember that the Rabbit becomes worn and ugly over time, but this doesn't change the Boy's love for him. The Boy loves his rabbit for who he is, not what he looks like. It's a life lesson as old as time: it doesn't matter how beautiful you are on the outside, what matters is what you have in your heart.
2. Hardships are a part of life
The Rabbit went through plenty of trials and tribulations in between his transformation from a stuffed rabbit to a real bunny. He faced ridicule from fancy mechanical toys for being a simple stuffed animal, he saw his body slowly wear away, and ultimately he was discarded in a rubbish heap with other old toys. The Velveteen Rabbit shows us that hardships are a normal part of life, and that eventually they will pass. When you're in the middle of a difficult time it's often hard to see to the other side, but remembering the good moments and hoping for better times ahead is an important part of dealing with hardship and grief.
3. Strive for authenticity
We live in a world where everyone and anyone can curate their life to appear perfect online. One timeless, and important lesson that The Velveteen Rabbit shows us is that it's important to strive for realness in every aspect of life. You don't need other people's approval or validation to feel secure in who you are. In The Velveteen Rabbit, the Rabbit doesn't need the Boy, other toys, or even real rabbits to tell him he's real. Even before he becomes a live bunny, the Rabbit wholeheartedly believes in himself and his own realness. This sort of self-confidence is something we can all apply to our daily lives!
4. Love hurts..but it's worth it
Romantic comedies might try to make us believe that all you need to do is find The One and then you'll live happily ever after, but The Velveteen Rabbit takes a slightly more realistic approach. A big lesson in this book is that love can sometimes be painful, and it's not always easy. Love can be hard work, and whether you're working at loving a parent, sibling, partner, or child, it won't always be a breeze. One life lesson you can take away from The Velveteen Rabbit though is that even if love hurts, it's always worth it in the end. You should never regret loving or being loved.
5. Never forget where you came from
Once the Rabbit becomes Real he seems to have everything he could possibly want: real live bunny friends, a happy bunny life, and the achievement of his ultimate goal. But even then, the Rabbit still comes back to visit the Boy in the garden. Why? The Velveteen Rabbit shows us how important it is to remember your past and where you come from—in particular the people who helped you to get to where you are. Without the Boy the Rabbit wouldn't have become Real, and he acknowledges that by visiting him, even as a real bunny.
In the mood to read The Velveteen Rabbit, or want to gift this beautiful tale to someone else? Check out our charming The Velveteen Rabbit poster which has the entire text from the book on it.
You can also enter our Instagram giveaway to win a free The Velveteen Rabbit poster!