"A flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest of them all."
Mulan's Father, from the movie, Mulan
Tonight I came home and felt like watching a classic Disney movie, Mulan. I love this animation, not just because of its story, music and humour, but mainly because of its hero, Mulan.
I believe that Mulan isn't just a fictional character based on a real story. I believe Mulan is a metaphor for each of us. As a girl, Mulan didn't fit into the ideals of her times. According to her ancestors, parents and society (in the animated story) she does not bring 'honour' to anyone, including herself. She does an unthinkable thing and poses as a boy, learns to fight like a man and then saves China like a warrior, just to keep her injured father from going to war. And still she is shunned by her peers and family until the emperor crowns her a hero. Until someone with authority tells her 'you bought your family honour.'
I believe in a way we are similar to Mulan. How many times have we been shunned by our family's, society and our peers for standing up and standing out? How many times have we been told that we need to learn 'our place in life' and submit to it? How many times have we been guilt-tripped into thinking that we are different and by being different we bring dishonour to ourselves and those around us?
Mulan teaches the importance of following our difference. The movie shows that we were born to stand out and in doing so bring honour to ourselves by knowing who we really are and what our purpose in life is. And when we are true to that purpose, we bring honour to ourselves and in doing so, we shine. When we shine, people naturally radiate a light and this light glows so bright that people are summoned to it: they honour it.
So let us take a lesson from Mulan. Girls, boys, men or women, stand up and stand out your difference. Discover your identity and honour it. Find the light and purpose to your life and live it out. You don't need to prove yourself or conform to anyone's ideals except your own because until you do, no one can really honour you.
If Mulan could learn to fight like a man and save China, you too can learn to fight for your beliefs and save yourself.