The Lady And The Panda

Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived with her cruel stepmother and her wicked stepsisters, who made her live like a servant in her own home.

The End.

Not much of a story, is it?

Take away the fairy godmother and the prince and the glass slippers, and Cinderella’s just not that compelling if it never makes it past the beginning.

One of the lost blog posts from earlier this year was a comparison of the philosophies of Lady Gaga and Kung Fu Panda. Which one more closely reflects who you are and who you want to be?

Earlier this year, I went to a Sugarland concert, and one of the opening acts, Little Big Town, did a cover of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way. Other than finding it more agreeable than the original, which, to be fair, I had limited experience with, I didn’t give it a whole lot of thought until a few days later, when I was watching Kung Fu Panda 2, which is awesome.

And the thought occurred to me that a phenomenal amount of how you take life is rooted in whether you believe Lady Gaga or Po.

I’m all for the idea that all men are created equal, so, to that extent, I’ll agree with Lady Gaga. Where she loses me, though, is the idea that “I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way.”

And, you know, she seems to be doing well enough for herself. If she was raised believing she was a superstar and stayed on that track, then it seems to have paid off for her, and good for her.

But we’re not all raised superstars. We’re not all born that way. And, sometimes in life, we find ourselves at points of wishing we could be someone else.

And we reach those points, if all we have is the way we were born, if all we have is who we are and who we’ve been, we don’t have much.

As the soothsayer in Kung Fu Panda 2 tells Po, “Your story may not have such a happy beginning but that doesn’t make you who you are — it is the rest of your story, who you choose to be.”

Our stories are important. But every day that goes by becomes only the prologue of the story yet to be told.

Po reaches inner peace when he finally realizes. By the end, he tells his foe, “You’ve got to let go of that stuff from the past, because it just doesn’t matter . The only thing that matters is what you choose to be now.”

It’s a story that’s told constantly through the Bible. “But I’m just a ….” No, you’re not.

Someone I knew used to have on her blog a tagline about aspiring to be who you were born to be.

I have no desire to be who I was born to be. I don’t want to stop at the beginning. I want to be better.

When you reach the point where you wish you could be someone else, do it. Be someone better. Be yourself, better than you’ve ever been.

“Nothing’s unstoppable except for me when I’m stopping you from telling me something’s unstoppable!” — Po