Disclaimer : In order to fully understand this post, you, the reader, should have seen at least one part of Kung Fu Panda because I make a lot of references. Also, in this post I’m not trying to amuse anyone. So it would get boring if you were looking for anything like that.
Hello and welcome everyone!
A few days ago I was watching the Kung Fu Panda trilogy and at certain moments I cried.
“Wait, how is that possible?” you’d ask.
Or perhaps, “Why?”
It could have been something very trivial. I couldn’t recognize it either until I got motivated to start this blog. It wasn’t that I was moved or I was emotional at that moment, which I was anyway, but some part of me was feeling a sense of freedom, something I hadn’t felt in a long time. I was crying but at the same time feeling joy. Inexplicable! But I’ll try my best anyway.
After going over the same moment again and again, I think I now know why.
In the first movie:
Whenever I saw Po, the panda, struggling with learning something that he loved doing, I cried. I believe it wasn’t because he was failing or that I sympathized with him. I believe it was because the struggle that he did to learn something he loved was what I aspired to do, but never did. The kind of struggle that would impart meaning to life and make one feel worth something. I wanted to do this, but I never did. I ignored that part of me. I cried because I finally felt a sense of freedom to whole-heartedly pursue what I really wanted to do.
When Master Oogway, told Shifu, to “believe” in Po before he departed from the scene, I cried. It was because, for a long time I stopped believing in myself, in what I could do in order to fulfill conventional expectations. I was trying to follow a path that was set for me. I always dreamed of a life I never had, with the complete belief that I would never have it. Now I believe that I have freed myself from that bond.
In the second movie:
Po gets defeated for the first time. He is taken into the care of The Soothsayer, a goat, who heals him of his injuries. He then recollects his memories and feels sad knowing the truth. The Soothsayer then tells him, and I quote,
“Your story may not have such a happy beginning, but that doesn’t make you who you are. It is the rest of your story, who you choose to be”
I choose to be truthful and honest. Even if not towards someone else, at least to myself. I mean it’s just a fictional movie, right? It is. There’s no denying that. But could its implications not be applied in our lives. I definitely see applications which could probably even lead to a happier and fulfilling life.
Later in the movie, the panda is fighting the villain alongside whom he considered as his idols before he even knew how to fight. This is clearly shown in the scene where he tries to free other masters from the jail. He fought for them to accompany him. Later he felt grateful for the fact that they stood beside him as a family in times of need. The family aspect is what struck me. I felt I’d been neglecting the support for quite a few years. I was looking for support everywhere and neglected what I already had.
In the third movie:
“Who are you?” is what Kai, the villain, asks Po.
To this he replies “I’ve been asking the same question. Am I the son of a panda? The son of a goose? A student? A teacher? Turns out, I’m all of them”.
This was an epiphany moment for me. I didn’t cry here though. Po assumed different roles to suit different situations. Even though he is a panda, his way of thinking is very much like us. So if we’re really searching for who we are or what we are meant to be, I don’t think there is a set role that we would fit into. Depending on the situation, we can choose whoever we want to be. Although, spiritually speaking, the question “Who am I” opens up a million possibilities, this is what feels real to me now. So until I have a profoundly different experience, I choose to believe in this. Plus, that is another whole topic of discussion.
For everyone who made it this far and are still reading, thank you. This is the kind of stuff that I am aiming for, something that means something, something that provides value, something that makes it real.
I hope to have a proper discussion on this topic. So let me know what you think in the comments section below.
P.S.: One quote worth mentioning is in the third movie, when Shifu tells Po,
“If you only do what you can do, you’ll never be more than you are” – a kick in the rear for whenever we start feeling comfortable with ourselves.