I assign myself no rank or any limit, and such an attitude
is very much against the trend of the times. But my
world has become one of infinite possibilities.
—Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
The Lion King sold twenty-seven million copies and is one of the Disney Studios’ all-time box office successes. The film describes the evolvement of a relationship in the animal kingdom after the birth of Simba, the son of King Mufasa. Simba’s birth denies Scar—the king’s brother—the kingship, which he would have inherited if Simba had not been born.
In order to change the course of events, Scar brings about the death of his brother, King Mufasa. He asks the hyenas to kill Simba, tells the pack that Simba is dead, and therefore he has no alternative
but to undertake the role of leader. The hyenas do not kill Simba. Simba was forced into a situation, through manipulation, where his life wouldn’t go as planned (depending on who you ask) and where
he meets up with Timone and Pumba—the jungle’s slackers—who teaches young Simba the philosophy of not letting life’s problems get the best of you.
Like Simba, we too have been in similar situations; we know very well that we have our destiny, and our dreams are stolen by others. When times get tough (or busy), it can be difficult to remember who we are. We can get caught trying to become someone we are not. Or even worse, we can get caught trying to ignore who we are. In some of these, we have felt inflated, stormed, destroyed, and
abused and have settled for less, have withdrawn, or have chosen to commit suicide or even hurt others. And for some who are like Simba, we have moved on, have chosen not to try anymore. We feel that we have no one to encourage or supports us to get to the next level. We feel like life is unfair, we feel like we born to only reach a certain level of education, we are destined to live only in a certain neighborhood, or we can never progress to achieve beyond the entry-level job life has been predetermined for us. We choose to live and eat like the monkeys and warthogs; we live under the control of warthog’s fear.
Visiting Kenya recently, I went on a safari where I saw several families of warthogs, and each of those families have the same characteristics: they are always running to their holes to hide even when there are no imminent enemies on sight. Just imagine, Simba had to put up with all that, and possibly, he too had become like a warthog.
This is very much the same as us when we avoid to stand strong for our destiny: we choose fear over courage; we choose to allow others to choose destiny for us; we choose to become what others have preplanned for us; we fear to be misunderstood by those we meet with on our way to our destiny; or we choose to hang on to things or people, hoping that they would give that direction, hoping they will not expose us to more darkness like others have done to us in the past. One of the hardest realizations that many of us face of on our healing journeys is the thought when we come to realize that we’re the odd one of our family or of our peers, our childhood religious institution, or our early community. Or a sense of feeling a bit orphaned.
Feeling like the lone wolf. Or a sense of being the whipping boy. Maybe it’s because we feel misunderstood and responded to things differently than other members of your family, peer, group,
workplace, or community. Maybe it’s because you look or sound different.
And when we look around us, it is so easy to fall into a panic and uncertainty about our future. It can seem like things are falling apart on many different levels. We all go through these times, but
some people walk in this mentality often. We can look at this world and our lives with a defeatist attitude—where we have to fight for everything, or fight for nothing. We feel orphaned—we have to battle, grasp, and scrounge for everything. If we live in this state for too long, it holds us back from our destiny because we do everything from a place of striving.
Yes, life can be tough, and it will take everything from any of us if we let it! But if we can discover who we are and take back what has been taken from us, we can tell our hearts that we will fight for our better tomorrow. Remember, life is not a snapshot, so why are you living your life that way? Live courageously from your heart!