Kung Fu Panda – Wisdom beyond their doodled lines.

July 15, 2008

I went with the irrepressible ball of energy that is Maisie to see the excellent Kung Fu Panda at the weekend. In it there was the usual physical humour that everyone can get and some jokes that were there just for the parents who went along. But there was also a nice, subtle underlying message in the film, and not just the usual Hollywood ‘America rocks and the rest of the world should be grateful’ piffle.

Indeed the master of the Kung Fu animals, a superb Red Panda called Shifu, voiced by Dustin Hoffman, comes out with an absolute gem of a line:

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift.
That is why it is called the present.”

Now, he may have stolen it from someone else, but it’s still a lovely sentiment to include in this film. And it’s so poetic that it’s something that most people take away from the film.
Sometimes the most simple of sayings expresses a sentiment more elegantly than a thousand words. This is one of these cases. This short maxim shows exactly how you would live your life if you focused on the present. Ignore everything else. Live for the now. And only worry about what you have the power to change. How interesting that an animated Red Panda (in the mould of Yoda, in a ‘small can still be great’ sort of a way) should be the one to dispense such wisdom.

Another example of simple words being supremely powerful is the Richard Bach book ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’. It is given to schoolchildren as it is a very easy to read book. It is, however, deceptively simple.
Like all great ideas, the more simple the better.
On the surface this is a book about a seagull who came good. But it’s so much more than that. It’s a cry to aim high, to be the best that you can possibly be. It tries to empower you, to make you think positively that nothing is impossible. You can achieve whatever you set your mind to. I guess I’m a little biased as I’ve read a great many Richard Bach books, and I’ve loved them all. Sure you can be cynical and accuse him of over-simplifying very complex ideas. But that’s the point. He brings ideas to people who wouldn’t have considered them before. And by doing so, he uses simplistic language to expand the minds of his readers.

Try reading Illusions or One and you’ll see how some very simple ideas can translate into your everyday life and create a better existence for you and all those you come into contact with.

“If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they’re yours. If they don’t they never were.”
These words have resonated with me since I first read them some 17 years ago. They have taken on even more significance over this past year. I’ve gone (am going) through a split from my daughter’s mum. These words at first made me feel worse, but, eventually, they made me realise that life goes on. I should be thankful for the good times that we had, and move on. Realign my sights and continue to aim higher.
And to continue to strive to be someone that my daughter will grow to be proud of.

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One Response to “Kung Fu Panda – Wisdom beyond their doodled lines.”

  1. Bill Green Says:

    Well wait till you both see Wall•e. We both cried, well I did, M had something in her eye, aye right! Off to buy the toy, for my daughter you understand…


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