I am so certain that I must have watched tens of thousands of all sorts of cartoons with my kids over the years. A few of those times, I lazily glanced at the screen; absent minded as though I had no choice in the matter. At other times, I fully participated; observing and unabashedly enjoying every scene, every moment.
Every once in a while, I like to enjoy the endless possibilities, the glee and the happy-ever-after that most cartoons portray. Talk about being in a world of make belief where just about anything is possible. Wow!
I particularly recall this one time; I watched a scene in a cartoon where the good guys were caught in a trap set by the villain. They were in this trap for several hours until a janitor who happened to be passing by saw them and helped get them out just by pushing the door. Apparently, the door was opened all along. The good guys had made several attempts at pushing the door from the inside when all they had to do was pull it.
Since I was binge watching, I watched another episode of the same cartoon and this time around, the bad guy threw some people into a very massive cage and they were unable to get out because he had it padlocked from the outside. The victims yelled for help at the top of their voices so much that their throats became sore. Then my youngest son said: “why are they yelling when they can just step out of the cage since the bars are wide enough for them to go through?”
I liked that he could relate so much with the characters that it made him actively engage his senses to think of a way of escape for them. I also observed that he was irritated that they did not seem to try hard enough to get out from the cage.
That was him learning empathy and problem solving skills without trying too hard to.
I seized the opportunity to throw a bit of education cum learning in the mix! We had conversations about what he would do differently if he were in their shoes. I patted him for showing enough concern for them that he so wanted them released from the cage. I wanted to know why he thought that they did not try hard enough and why that thought irritated him so.
I had a chance to give examples of a few instances where he too had been in a ‘cage situation’ and it appeared as though he had resigned to it without trying enough to get out. I attempted to make him understand why his dad or I would sometimes get pretty upset when we thought he could do better to face some obstacles head long. We talked some more, citing a few more instances here and there.
Summarily, we talked, we laughed, we thought and we learnt.
“A long caged bird once set free would sometimes fly back to the familiarity of the cage”
I had a moment all by myself to reflect on the many minutes that had just gone by. Sometimes, we can walk right through those bars that have us caged, but we don’t even try. We ‘rely’ on the failures of previous attempts and resign to our current situation. At other times, we replay the hurtful words spoken to us by a significant someone, who made us believe that we do not have what it takes to succeed. We’ve internalized it so much, that we have come to believe and accept their verdict. Worse still, we can get so accustomed to the ‘safety’ of the cage that we keep going back to it. Sounds familiar? While it is so true that many things may appear really difficult, it is of great advantage to understand that even those things are not impossible.
Step out from the room of limitations!
Break free from the cage of unbelief and the chains of doubt!!
Soar and Excel!!!
Quote and Photo credit: Google Images