You Can’t Change Who You Are

Even though I am a senior citizen, I still like watching children’s movies and shows. Most of the movies and shows use animals to convey important life lessons to children. Children like watching animals that talk and have human characteristics, and therefore the children will be more likely to pay attention to the movie or show than if it was a human being conveying the same message. This post is about such a movie or show.

I watched a children’s movie with a little friend recently. It was titled “Khumba”, and was about a zebra that had been born with only half of its’ stripes, and a leopard named “Pungo”, that had been born with one blind eye. The story is about Khumba’s journey to find out how and where to get his missing stripes. As Khumba was on his journey, Pungo crossed near his path many times during the movie. Pungo was after Khumba because he had been told that a zebra with only half of its’ stripes would be born one day, and that whom ever captured this zebra would be the most powerful of all. Thus sets the tone for the movie.

Close to the beginning of the movie, a story is told about a “magical waterhole”. It seems that in the beginning, zebras did not have stripes. One of the zebras ventured into the waterhole, and when he emerged from the water, he had stripes all over him. He felt special because none of the other zebras had stripes. One by one, all of the other zebras ventured into the water as well, and when they emerged, they too had stripes. After that day, the waterhole was known as a “magical waterhole”.

Right after Khumba was born, as soon as the other zebras saw that he was missing half of his stripes, the other zebras started making fun of him.  They began to call him a half-zebra, because he had only half of his stripes. The other zebras carried the taunting a little further and said that the drought in the land was due to Khumba not having all of his stripes. This was an omen, a curse, a sign from the gods.

The taunting went on without ceasing. One day Khumba had had enough and he set out to find his stripes. In the meantime, Pungo had set out to find Khumba.

I won’t go into the details of the movie, so as not to spoil it for those who may want to see it. There are many lessons in the movie, so it is very worthwhile to watch. And there are tear jerker moments, as in all good movies.

At the end, Khumba found the “magical waterhole”, and Pungo found Khumba. The two of them had a fierce battle to the death. Khumba emerged victorious in the battle. Then he went to the “magical waterhole” and fully emerged himself. As he was coming out of the “magical waterhole”, he was very excited to look at himself to see his new stripes. To his utter disappointment, there were no stripes to see. He was sad, but only for a moment. As it started to rain, all of the other zebras started praising Khumba for being the answer to the drought and not the cause of it. Needless to say, he was very happy. One of the last things that he said was, “You can’t change who you are.”

Many of us have disabilities and deformities. Granted, there are surgeries out there that can change our appearance, and in some cases even our sex. There are however, no surgeries out there that can change our mind and our heart. Our core values are what we are born with.

During our life, we come across all kinds of people. Some are inherently generous, kind and happy, and some are inherently selfish. There are people that could not be serious if their life depended on it, and some that cannot be anything but sarcastic. So too, some are very mean. We are taught this throughout our lives.

We know, from many studies that have been done on serial killers, that serial killers are nothing but pure meanness and hatred all the way through. Their brain scans are very different from nice people.

So I hope you can tell what I am trying to say. Accept who you are, because you can’t change it. You were born that way.