The last time we were together, I encouraged you to make sure your children had less Timon and Pumbaa in their lives and more Mufasa. In sum, I urged you to make sure your children are being raised to have a deep and abiding reverence for who they are so that they never lose sight of what is expected of them.
During our time apart, I hope you heeded my advice and took a moment to assess who are your children’s biggest influences. Are you your child’s biggest influence or are your children most influenced by someone else’s child? Hopefully, your children are not being influenced by the local Timon and Pumbaa?
COMMITTEE OF VULTURES
Sticking with the Lion King theme, I’d like to draw your attention to the moment just before Simba is awakened by Timon and Pumbaa. At the start of Scene 20 – “Saved, desert”, we find a fatigued Simba passed out in the desert. Distraught over his father’s death and exhausted from the journey from Pride Land, Simba looks like he has expired.
Hovering over Simba is a committee of vultures who begin to feed on him until Timon and Pumbaa appear and chase the scavengers away. On the surface, it appears that the “no worries duo” have saved the day – arriving just in time to keep Simba from being the vultures’ next meal.
BOWLING FOR BUZZARDS
Timon and Pumbaa had gone “bowling for buzzards” thereby saving Simba or had they. When we look beyond the surface of the scene, we find something altogether different. We find that it was Simba who saved himself.
The scene provides a reminder that often others can revive you but the act of being saved is something we must do ourselves. Being saved is like being helped to your feet. Having a help getting up is appreciated but learning to stand on your own two feet is freedom.
Routinely our children are challenged by what I call “the committee human vultures”. The committee of human vultures are those people who pick at children to discourage them from pursuing their big bodacious hopes and dreams, people who prey on children especially when a child is at a low point, and people who just flat out seem happiest anytime there is an opportunity to kick someone who is already down. (I bet you know someone who fits this description. I hope it’s not you!)
When Simba stands up, he makes it clear to the committee of vultures that he is not dead, that he is not to be harassed. Simba’s act of standing up is akin to saving himself. By standing, the vultures recognize that Simba will not be dinner – Simba will not be a victim.
SIMBA THE ROLE MODEL
For the record, despite how wonderful Timon and Pumbaa were in this scene if Simba were dead, Timon and Pumbaa’s assistance would have been futile. Sooner or later, the committee of vultures would have devoured a deceased Simba. And Timon and Pumbaa would have moved on while singing Hakuna Matata!
Disney isn’t paying me to say this (although they should) but if you have eighty-nine minutes to spare watch The Lion King with your child. If you can’t find the time to watch The Lion King, I still implore you to share Simba’s two-part process of shooing away the committee of vultures.
First, make sure your child knows that vultures are always nearby. You might not be able to see them because they are flying high over your head, but they are always there. Vultures stay just beyond your sight waiting for you to fall, for you to faint, for you to show signs of wanting to give up before they swoop in attempting to devour you figuratively and at times literally.
Second, let your children know that they must move the moment they see vultures swooping in or feel them nibbling at their flesh – working their nerves. We all fall, we all have emotionally debilitating moments, yet when we do we must not play dead. We must shoo away the vultures.
We must move immediately which includes opening our mouths to say something objectionable – something to neutralize the vultures. Without equivocation, the vultures must know that we are alive and intend to live. In the words of James Brown, when you see the vultures – get up, get on up…
That’s it! This simple two-part process could make the difference in your child’s life. Please take a moment to share this scene with your child so that they are equipped to save themselves when they feel weary and faint and so that they are prepared for that fateful moment when the committee of vultures inevitably swoop in.
Has your child had an experience with human vultures? Are you aware of the committee of vultures that are hovering around your children at this very moment?
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