Skip to main content

5 Moral Lessons to Learn From the Story 'Jack and the Beanstalk'

Tim is a local educator who earned his Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Albright College in Reading, PA. He is an avid writer and artist.

Some Truth From a Fairytale

As a child, one of my favorite stories was "Jack and The Beanstalk." I viewed poor Jack as a child who was trying to do what was best for his family. Now that I am I older, I have revisited the story and have found that there are some important life lessons.

1. When Your Mother Sends You to the Market, Do What She Tells You

Jack had a simple task to do: take his cow to the market and sell it to get some money to buy his family food. But, he got taken in by a swift talking bean salesman. Moral of the story: Listen to your mother when she tells you to do something.

Of course, the story kind of works out for Jack. The beans get thrown out the window, and during the night while they slept, a great beanstalk rises up into the sky. In the morning, Jack wakes up and climbs the beanstalk. This brings me to my next life lesson.

2. Do Not Let Your Eyes Become Bigger Than Your Wallet

Jack lays his eyes on the giant's possessions (the harp, the gold coins, and the hen that lays the golden eggs) and he desires them. This simple act leads Jack down the wrong path.

3. What's Yours Is Yours, What's Theirs You Do Not Touch Without Permission

When all is said and done, Jack stole the harp, the gold coins, and the golden hen — items that did not belong to him. He then climbed down the bean stalk, chopped it down, and then let the giant fall to his doom. Of course, Jack and his mom lived happily ever after. But can we truthfully say that the giant got what he deserved? He was going to eat poor Jack, but wasn't the giant just protecting his possessions? This leads into next moral lesson.

4. If You Know It's Wrong Then It's Wrong — No Matter How Much You Justify What You're Doing

Jack saw a way to end his family's plight, but it was not the most honorable one. He could have held his head up high, admitted his mistake, and then sought out work to help support his mother and himself.

5. Last Life Lesson

In all fairness, there is a new politically correct version of "Jack and Beanstalk." In this story, Jack realizes how he has wronged the giant and seeks to right that wrong. He works out a deal with the giant in which he has visitation rights with the harp. In return, the giant gives Jack gold coins in order to help Jack and his mother survive. The new version of "Jack and the Beanstalk" leads me to my last life lesson: When everyone works together, more is accomplished.

© 2012 Timothy Whitt

Related Articles