If you think animated films are just a silly stories for kids, think again. There are so many life lessons that one can learn from watching Kung Fu Panda! And you know what? You’ll find new things about the film, every time you rewatch it. Call it a classic if you want. By the way, if you don’t want any spoilers, stop right here.
For those who haven’t watched it yet, the story follows a panda named Po, who has dreams of becoming a kung fu master one day. Meanwhile, Po is working at his father’s noodle shop. The cast is something out of this world. Let me just to name drop a few names: Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan…
At first, there’s nothing out of the ordinary about Po. However, there’s more than meets the eye. So, how did someone like Po become the “Dragon Warrior”? Some might say it was accident, but others like Master Oogway will disagree. When it was time to appoint the Dragon Warrior, Po just dropped right in front of Oogway’s finger. Apparently, that’s was the “sign”. He literally fell from the sky, after he successfully launched himself into the tournament arena.
In the beginning, no one wanted to accept him as the Dragon Warrior, especially Shifu. That’s right, he made it very clear that he didn’t want to train Po. In addition, Shifu repeatedly belittled Po because of his physique to reinforce that this whole thing was just a mistake. However, with Oogway’s encouragement, Po decides not to give up.
Life Lessons From Kung Fu Panda
#1 – There Are No Accidents
Right after Oogway appointed Po as the Dragon Warrior, Shifu was very vocal about his stance on it. He did not agree with the decision. In his eyes, the whole incident was a mistake. However, Oogway stuck to his guns by saying “there are no accidents“. Therefore, everything that has happened, it was mean to be. And this has nothing to do with freewill or destiny. But if you really think about it, how else are you going to learn something new? One’s personal wisdom and strength come from life experiences: good or bad.
#2 – Enjoy The Present
At first, Po was a little bit daunted with the idea and the responsibility of being the Dragon Warrior. However, right when he was about to give up, Master Oogway shows up to drop some wisdom.”Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. But today is a gift. That’s why we called a present.” Having said that, what really matters is “now”. Everything else is just “white noise”.
#3 – Believe In Yourself
After Oogway nominated Po as the Dragon Warrior, everyone was pretty sceptical about his decision. Shifu himself said many times to Po that he wasn’t “the one”. However, he didn’t give up. Just because someone says you’re not good enough, it doesn’t mean you aren’t. Even when those words come from an authority figure like Shifu. You don’t become what you want, you become in what you believe. Therefore, believe in yourself.
#4 – Don’t Have An Ego
To be honest, the world that doesn’t own you anything. Why did Tai Lung fail? He wasn’t humble enough. In addition, he had a corrupted heart. To earn the title of Dragon Warrior you have to possess the right set of skills and the right mindset. By the way, Shifu was guilty of having an inflated ego too. Why? He failed to see what his “prodigy” was turning into. That’s right. Shifu had too much pride to admit that Tai Lung was straying away from the right path. Basically, he chose to close his eyes and ignore his flaws.
#5 – Embrace Yourself
Don’t focus too much on your flaws, instead, focus on what you’re good at. In addition, sometimes the things that you view as flaws aren’t really flaws. These peculiar things that you hate about yourself might one day become one of your biggest strengths. Look at Po, there’s nothing about him that screams Dragon Warrior. However, he’s the only that can defeat someone like Tai Lung. Why? Because Po is soft but strong like water. He’s seemingly harmless, but he knows how to take advantage of his body during combats.
Overall, Kung Fu Panda is a great film for kids and grown-ups. When I said it was a classic, I wasn’t joking. Whoever gets to watch it a 100 years from now will still “get it”.