Person with bunny ears falling through the sky surrounded by anvils

Lessons from Bugs Bunny

Last updated: December 2021

When I was a kid, Saturday morning was my jam. And my favorite part of the morning was watching Bugs Bunny on the Looney Tunes hour of Saturday morning cartoons.

It didn’t matter if I’d seen them before, I still giggled my way through the hour and felt a warm buzzing of satisfaction from all of Bug Bunny’s antics.

Bugs Bunny defies all expectations

In the world of Bugs Bunny, he gets hunted, picked on, and hounded in his rabbit hole, yet he is never the underdog (er, rabbit). You watch knowing that he will always best the other characters even if they have more resources, an arsenal, or the supposed superiority of being human (and not a defenseless rabbit or "wabbit").

Bugs Bunny somehow defies all expectations and conventions, yet it doesn’t seem surprising at all. It’s just what he does — who he is — and how he approaches the world.

How these cartoons shaped my outlook on life

Recently I started re-watching all these classic Looney Tunes episodes and I was struck by how much my outlook on life has been influenced by Bugs Bunny.

From a young age, I embraced his zest for life, sense of adventure, and reshaping of the world to better suit his liking.

5 RA lessons from Bugs Bunny

Bugs Bunny has so much to teach us about living with rheumatoid arthritis (or just living in general).

  • He never lets anything throw him. (Well, rarely.) Only in a couple (rare) episodes is Bugs Bunny ever bested, such as when the gremlin crashes his plane (really, a draw situation since they are both on it) and when the turtle outwits him in a race. Generally, in any situation, Bugs Bunny accepts, adapts, and changes it to better fit his needs. He doesn’t break a sweat or lose himself to terror; he just flexes as he does best.
  • He’s got an answer for everything. Bugs never faces a problem he can’t solve. If Yosemite Sam is going to blow up his rabbit hole by stuffing it with dynamite, he moves the explosives to underneath Sam’s house instead. If an angry opera singer breaks his ukulele, he switches to playing the cello. Basically, there is no such thing as impossible — he can always create a solution.
  • He’s a creative problem solver. In the same vein, Bugs always has a creative solution. He doesn’t go with the typical and, instead, goes with the surprise. If a vampire is chasing him around a castle, he uses magic words found in the vampire’s own books to beat him. If the vampire turns into a bat, Bugs turns into a baseball bat. It’s the elegant, creative solution that always wins the day for Bugs.
  • He thinks outside the box. Bugs doesn’t let the current reality rule his life. He literally thinks outside of it. When Elmer Fudd disrupts him while in his rabbit hole, he turns on the shower and pretends to be a lady upset to be disturbed in the shower. Bugs can completely reinvent himself and the scenario to suit him.
  • He always gets the last laugh. Bugs never ends the show on a down note, but always with a chuckle. He may have escaped a hunter, a monster, or the abominable snowman, but he is always enjoying himself despite the danger and antics. Somehow, despite all the challenges he faces, he is always enjoying himself.

Does this sound familiar?

Does any of this sound familiar to my fellow RA patients? We’re all (trying) to adapt to a changing body, creatively solve problems, and live as happily as we can.

To me, Bugs Bunny is the embodiment of all of this, but in the most hilarious, joyful way. If I can bring a little Bugs to my life, I feel like I must be doing pretty well.

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