Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore in This Is Us

Get The Tissues: 8 Lessons That We Learned From This Is Us

A perfect mix of family, growth and love. This is the basic plot of an amazing American TV show called This is Us. Created by Dan Fogelman, the series aired on NBC, in the US, in 2016 and it has been a huge success since then. Furthermore, with four seasons (and a fifth confirmed), the show has been winning important prizes, such as the 2018 Golden Globe, where Sterling K. Brown, who plays Randall Pearson, won the statuette for “best performance by an actor in a Television series”.

Telling the story of the Pearson family, This is Us is more than just a TV show: it is a beautiful story about bonding and loving. As we get to know more about the triplets Kate, Kevin and Randall, and their parents, Jack and Rebecca, we can easily relate it to real life. It is complex and very hard to hold the tears. Besides, the show carries great lessons with an awesome mastery, check out some of them below!

Attention: this article has a lot of spoilers. Be careful!

 

  1. 1. Adoption is an act of love

    In the very first episode, we get to know Randall, a black boy who was left by his biological father in the fire station. That same day, Rebecca was at the maternity hospital delivering the triplets Kate, Kevin and Kyle. However, after some complications in childbirth, Kyle’s heart stopped and Rebecca could not believe that she had lost one of her babies. Meantime, while talking to the doctor, Jack saw Randall lying down in the crib next to Kate and Kevin. He thought that it was a sign from the universe to welcome the little baby into the family.

    The process of adopting Randall was not easy, but Jack and Rebecca persisted and tried in every single way, because they wanted to give the abandoned baby a loving and caring home. This is Us teaches how this must be the main purpose of adopting after all: the chance to give a child better opportunities and, mostly, love. 

  2. 2. Mourning is not a totally bad guy

    One of the saddest moments of the show is the death of Jack Pearson, a great man and father. It was sudden and everybody was shocked. But, in a very “This is Us” way, the episode also shows how it is okay to feel the pain and grief of losing a loved one. It is part of the process of healing and turning the pain into love and memory.

    This same process was not easy but it taught the family how to grow and move on, even though they had to turn sadness into strength without even noticing. Rebecca had to buy a house, find a job and raise teenagers as a single mom. On the other hand, the triplets had to learn how to live without a father figure and also how to help their mom, who was grieving just as much as they were. Mourning is not an easy thing, but it shows that we are strong enough to heal somehow.

  3. 3. Alcohol Addiction

    Kevin, one of the triplets, suffered a lot of existential crises throughout life, questioning his career as an actor, his romantic relationships and even himself. In one dark moment of his life, he got in touch with alcohol, something that has hunted his family for generations.

    Jack, his father, and Nick, his uncle, had the same problem with the addiction: aware of its harmfulness but not knowing how to stop. So, in the show, we watch Kevin in this fight against the addiction that kills and scares thousands of people around the world. Kevin is a famous actor with a good life, but deals with problems such as every human being. Moreover, with the character, we can tell that it is not easy to let go of an addiction, but look for help and support is the best way to thrive.

  4. 4. Sexuality and self-knowledge

    Being a teenager is not easy at all. Trying to find what we like and who we are is something really scary. About that, This is Us also shows a great lesson: we must be who we want to be. Tess Pearson, Randall and Beth’s older daughter, is a teen and faces problems of self-knowing just as every other kid. Someday, after thinking a lot about herself, Tess confirmed that she likes girls. Differently from some high school friends, who loved to talk about boys, Tess never wanted that thing. And it is perfectly okay.

    The fear begins when she has to tell her parents. How they are going to react and look at their “little girl” is something that really makes her scared. However, Randall and Beth just comfort her because who she loves does not matter, it does not change the fact that Tess is an awesome girl and daughter. Unfortunately, many teenagers around the world do not have this luck when coming out to their parents, but This is Us carries this inspirational message that we are unique and important, not mattering at all who we like, because love is love!

  5. 5. We should not be defined by clothing sizes

    Kate Pearson’s story with herself is a long road. She is the only girl between the triplets and she has always suffered about her weight. When she was little, her mom, Rebecca, tried to change Kate’s eating habits in an attempt to make the girl thin. However, her problems were way deeper than just food.

    For years, Kate tried to hide her body and believed that she would not be loved if she wasn’t skinny. That hurtful thought ended as she grew up, but the insecurities because of society’s beauty pattern were still there. Through the four seasons, we can clearly see Kate’s self-love journey and how it is full of ups and downs. She has a family and a husband that supports her, but sometimes it is just not enough.

    This is Us presents that who we truly are is not a number shown on the scale or the size of our clothes. Obviously, we need to take care of our body and be healthy, but this is not a synonym of being skinny. The beauty patterns pressure thousands of women around the world, sometimes making them see their bodies in a bad way if they are not thin or flawless. The thing is: our bodies are our homes, they must be the place that we feel comfortable in, not mattering the size or particularities. The self-love journey is not easy, but is definitely worth it.

  6. 6.  Anxiety

    Besides physical health, another important thing discussed in This is Us is mental health. Randall Pearson is a man that always wanted to help people and do his best. However, this commitment sometimes hurts him. Since he was a kid, he has suffered from anxiety, a disease that must be taken seriously and can be really harmful. Sometimes, Randall tries to fight against the overwhelming feeling, but there are days that are just too hard to hold the emotions.

    Dealing with an important topic, the show presents that we are not weak if we ask for help; actually, asking for help is a very brave move and the best thing to do. Explaining or talking to loved ones is a way of fighting the disease, but the most recommendable is looking for professional help. And remember: you are not alone!

  7. 7. Miscarriage

    After months trying to have a baby, Kate finally got the news that she was pregnant. She and Toby, her husband, celebrated and the whole parenting started, making them genuinely happy. However, on a random day, Kate started to bleed a lot and no one knew what was happening. They went to the hospital as soon as they could and had the terrible news: Kate had suffered a miscarriage.

    Losing a child before even getting to know how they look is heartbreaking, but, unfortunately, is something that many women have to deal with. The grief, the pain and the powerless feeling is shown in the series, presenting that, even though the baby wasn’t born, Kate already felt like a mom. This is Us also shows that miscarriage is more common than we think and it is hard to deal, but it should not be the reason to stop trying to have a baby. Kate, after some time, decided she was ready to try again, because her dream of being a mom was stronger than the pain. 

  8. 8. Conversation is the key to every relationship

    It is clear that no relationship is perfect - be it maternal, paternal, romantic or friendship. However, the most important thing to make it work is conversation. Trying to understand the other person and explaining how we feel are two of the most relevant things when having a relationship. And this is something that This is Us shows with great mastery: how every relationship that we have in life carries a lesson - good or bad - for our own living, which results in one important process: growth. 

    Jack and Rebecca, for example, are an awesome couple, but not flawless. They had their differences and insecurities, but what kept them together - besides the love - was how they always talked to each other. Showing fears, celebrating happiness and sharing thoughts are important parts of being committed to someone. Besides that, being able to feel comfortable talking and being honest is a road that must go both ways, which makes any relationship stronger. After all, commitment is about loving, bonding and giving. 

Anyway, This is Us has a life changing story, full of beauty, simplicity and love. Since the first episode, I have felt connected not only to the show but also to the characters, who taught me to be more empathetic and understanding. This is Us has changed my life in so many ways, and I’m sure it will change yours too. If you haven’t, you should definitely check it out! The seasons are available on Amazon Prime Video. 

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The article above was edited by Mel Trench

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