My wife and I took some of our boys to see Kung Fu Panda 3 this weekend. We all enjoyed it and had a great time together. A clear theme of the movie was to know yourself and become the best version of yourself. As the film opens, we learn that our hero is to become a teacher and Master Shifu tells him that he must learn how to teach others. Of course, Po is freaked out and makes a mess of his first teaching attempt. He doesn’t know how to teach Kung Fu to others.
Through the course of the film we are introduced to the villain and the stage is set for Po to succeed or fail. As the climax approaches, we see that Po understands Master Shifu’s council to “become the best you”. He, of course, figures out with the help of his friends how to defeat the villain and win the day.
I realized as the credits rolled that each of the films had the same theme … to become the best version of yourself. In the first film, Po needed to learn Kung Fu so that he could defeat Tai Lung. In the second film, Po needs to learn an advanced martial art skill and gain inner peace. In the third film, Po must learn another advanced martial art skill and understand himself on a deeper level. In each film, Po must improve himself so that he can overcome the challenge placed before him.
This is exactly what happens in life, we either learn and grow so that we can over come the challenges or we shrink and become stuck behind a stone. If we grow the stone gets stepped on and we rise above the version of our self we had been. Around the age of 12 my mother gave me probably and unarguably the best gift she has even given me after life … the knowledge that I can change and become a better person. That through work, study, effort, and patience; I could make adjustments to my personality and character! I could and I have! By no means can I say that I am perfect or that I am some paragon of manhood, fatherhood, or humanity. I am a mere mortal and imperfect to boot! I am a devout follower of Christ and pray that I can be worthy of His kingdom and glory.