Today was a great day! It started with a meeting with one of my favorite people and mentor's, then progressed to a movie with my kids, followed by paddle boats and ending with banana splits! Great day indeed.
Now, many of my days are spent with my children. I am the mother of three, so entertainment in our house can consist of fart jokes from my eleven year old, chatter about boys from my nine year old and teddy bears and magical lands for my four year old. Our television often finds itself hosting purple dinosaurs or rock video's, and the adults in my house have started to find children's programming to be as fascinating as philosophical, sociological, historical and psychological studies. I have found that movies made for children often have deep and important meaning. Hang in there before you start laughing at me.
We went to see Kung Fu Panda today. My husband and I giggled along with the kids, but we also had a lovely discussion following the movie about it's deeper meaning. Yes, Jack Black performing the voice of a Panda had deep meaning. Po, the panda had great dreams about who he wanted to be, but mostly he was laughed at by others, called "fat" among other things, and had little faith in himself. By the end of the movie, he and the villagers around him discovered that there was "no secret ingredient" to greatness, it's all in your faith. Po thought that he would have to become something other than himself, that others would need to "change" and turn him into the person he wanted be. What everyone learned by the end of the film was that he did not need to be changed...he was already the perfect Po, he just needed to believe in himself and have others believe.
This reminded me of a conversation I had with a mother earlier this week. I met with a mother of a gentleman who is being supported in an adult training facility. At work, he often struggles, yet at home he is happy. His mother very clearly identified why. When he goes anywhere else, people want to change him, they want him to be someone else, do something else, conform and fit the mold of subservience. At home he is accepted for exactly who he is. His mother called him the "perfect Ricky" and she reached across the table, took my hand and said "just like you are the perfect Cheryl." She's right, and Kung Fu Panda is right, we're all perfect as we are, our motivation and meaning is our own and others cannot change that. We just need other's to believe as we need to have faith in ourselves.
So much of my job is about people who want someone else change, but the thing is we can't change other people, it's just not possible, nor is it necessary. When we begin to accept people for who they are as opposed to who we think we want them to be, our worlds will be more peaceful and happy.
So, until the next kids movie comes with a new inspiring meaning, I think I'll introduce everyone to Po, who is perfect just as he is...just like you and me.