Orange Is the New Black

Life Lessons from Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black"

People always say that one needs to learn from their mistakes, become wiser and stronger, and then move on. Quite the contrary, some individuals also say that it is better to learn from the mistakes of others, not from your own. And now, when we have so many TV-shows where people do all kinds of stupid things, why can’t we start learning from them? Netflix’s Orange is the New Black is one of those TV-shows. Sure, some of the lessons in this show are pretty obvious – like “never get roped into smuggling drugs by your so-called friend.” Nonetheless, there are also lessons that don’t relate to committing crimes. They are about the life itself and those living outside of prison should feel free to use them.

Top lessons learnt from Orange is the New Black

  • Don’t insult the chef. Piper, the main character of the show, learns this lesson rather early. How can we relate it to life outside of prison? Easy! Never insult the person who provides food for you. If you do this, you risk ending up being left without food at all or eating inedible food for revenge. So better just smile and say that you like eating whatever is served.
  • Be cautious in the way you reject romantic advances. This one is especially important when someone who makes these advances is called “crazy eyes” by others. To avoid a tricky situation, be kind and polite saying that you don’t want a sexual or romantic relationship. Not even kind – very kind and polite. In this case, you might avoid seeing your bodily fluids on the floor.
  • Always choose you lawyer’s advice over an ex-con’s one. This also seems to be obvious. However, seeing how easily Piper falls for that, it is absolutely necessary to mention it too. If you face a choice between using the recommendations given by a legal professional and those given by an ex-con, choose the legal professional. Especially whether this ex-con has screwed you over before. Don’t repeat Piper’s mistake.
  • Don’t scorn your fiancé and then leave him alone with your best friend whom you’ve also scorned. Just never do this. You can imagine to what consequences it might lead. And no one will actually be happy after that.
  • Never write about your partner’s life in prison while they’re still in prison. This wasn’t the smartest things to do for Larry. Obviously, he didn’t understand that if he writes about Piper’s life in prison while she is still serving her sentence, she might face some problems. Being a poor and clumsy writer, all he wanted was to be published. It didn’t come to him that the consequences of that might be not very favorable. Another obvious thing that comes to mind here is that neither Piper nor Larry can make life decisions in a sensible way.
  • Don’t believe the urban myths. Taystee, another character of the show, has always wanted to be the best in everything. Out of this desire, she decides that she has to win at a job fair to receive a permanent job after getting out of prison. But this doesn’t happen indeed. It teaches us to avoid trusting everything we are being told.
  • Be sure to always wear your game face. It is extremely important to always be fierce in the prison. And what helps to look ferocious in the women’s prison is a proper make-up. Let’s take a look at Red for example. She loses her kitchen, becomes desperate, and stops using make-up. As a result, she becomes a woman who has no signature look and, therefore, no power. One could even say that she turns into a shell of a woman. But then it changes back. She decides to go to war and her make-up returns as well as her signature look and her power. Seemingly, make-up is something that stores all the power of women in Litchfield Penitentiary.
  • Remember about the importance of a family. After getting back her game face, Red also manages to return her family. There have to be people around you who care about you, people whom you appreciate and would like to see every day. It doesn’t only have to be your relatives. It could be your friends who are always there for you. So surround yourself with good people and everything will be okay.

It is very good that we can learn all these lessons without being sentenced to prison and experiencing them ourselves. So take advantage of the TV-shows we have now and try to relate some of the episodes to your own life. Learn from the mistakes of the characters and become a stronger, wiser, and better person.