Lessons Learned from Childhood Cinema

Now that I am 21 years old, I think it’s funny how introspective and reflective I have become. Maybe it’s because I am a recent college grad or maybe it’s just a big part of my personality but I like to analyze.  I like to pick things a part to find a deeper meaning, the whats, the hows and the whys. The last one can be a bit perplexing of course because who ever really can answer why to some things in life. Nonetheless, I still ask questions and search for deeper meanings.

I recently caught myself doing this while watching one of my favorite childhood movies, The Lion King.  Out of all the Disney movies from my adolescence, The Lion King has always been by far one of my all time favorite movies. From the rhythmic music to the story plot of the king taking his rightful place at the throne to the setting in the beautiful lands of Africa, this movie pulls at my heart strings and brings me back to a place of pure adolescence.

While watching this movie last week, I found myself drawing some life lessons from my favorite childhood movie.  It’s funny how something so simple and fun can carry a deeper meaning.  It’s even more ironic how a movie from my yester years can carry a message that is so helpful and beneficial to my adulthood. Maybe when we get older, we forget these simple truths, but that is why I absolutely love stumbling upon them again. Each of the main characters I think brought an important lesson to the storyline.  Let’s recap:

Simon and Pumba: How can anyone ever forget the lesson that Simon and Pumba taught us? “Hakuna mata,” if you forgot, means no worries.  It’s a wonderful phrase and a carefree philosophy. It means that basically we must accept the things we cannot change and live our lives to the fullest, happiest and in the most complete manner as possible.  It means laugh, play, dance, hug people, fall down and just have fun! Live life. Be present. Don’t worry about tomorrow or yesterday. Live now.

Scar: While probably not anyone’s favorite character in The Lion King, uncle Scar does teach us a valuable lesson and provide the other half of the hero/villan plot needed in any film. Scar teaches us about the power of jealousy and revenge.  His hate and disdain for his brother becomes so consuming and crushing that he is driven to kill his brother and to try to take his young nephew’s life as well. Scar teaches us that comparing ourselves to other people can become quite unhealthy and that jealousy is destructive.

Rafiki: Rafiki had a marvelous quote in the movie, “Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the from way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” Rafiki is trying to teach Simba that though the past can be hurtful at time, it is important to face it in order to move forward. No matter how painful our pasts can be, we have to face them so that we can learn and become the best version of ourselves.

Mufasa: Mufasa’s son, Simba, had a problem that many young people, including myself, often deal with, thinking we know everything. In the midst of our arrogance and adolescent mistakes, we often loose sight of who we are and what we were created to be.  Simba runs into this problem after his disobedience leads to his father’s death.  Mufasa’s advice for his son is simple, “You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the Circle of Life.” I think when we mess up and we end up on a road in life that we never expected to travel down, it is important to get quiet, be still and wait. We must look within ourselves and tune out the rest of the world.  I am a fond believer that our gut, that little voice inside of us, always knows best.  We sometimes can’t hear it when the rest of the world is turned up too loud or when have become accustom to quieting it. We must learn to look within ourselves to remember who we are during times when it is easy to forget.

Simba: The favorite and lead character of the movie, Simba is super relatable and so cute. I love that Jonathan Taylor Thomas plays the voice of the young Simba. His voice of course just adds to the cuteness.  Simba essentially portrays the timeless tale of growing up. He is destined for greatness, but essentially he runs from his destiny and the man he is born to become out of guilt and fear. Simba shows us the importance of facing our problems head on and even when you feel afraid to face whatever is in the way of your destiny.  For Simba, his uncle Scar and fear of his past are holding him back from greatness.  It isn’t until he goes back and faces Scar and stands up for himself that he can take his rightful place as the King. We too must be willing to face our demons and the many roadblocks life brings to become the men and women we are meant to become.

I hope that this recap from The Lion King has been a refresher about some important life lessons that as we get older we seem to forget. So remember keep it light, keep it simple and live a worry free life of greatness.