The Jungle Book is one of the finest classics of all time, first the book, then the cartoon, and now the movie, which reached the top of the table in 2016. You may have read the book, watched the cartoon, or seen the movie, but what you missed were the inspirations hidden in it. Reading the book or watching the cartoon didn’t make me realize the inspirations, as I was naive at the time, but after watching the movie twice, I realized how the movie gained its popularity. There are numerous life lessons to be learned. We should probably begin with it.
The first lesson learned from The Jungle Book is: don’t aspire to be someone that you are not. From a very young age, all of us as students are encouraged and guided to do many different things. Our teachers suggested we take up engineering due to our abilities in math, but maybe our parents had different hopes for us, like that we should end up being a businessman or a doctor. In life, we may want to fit in with some people so badly that we try to change ourselves or try to convince them that we are all the same. All of us have that desire to be able to connect with each other and fit in with the people of our own tribe. However, many of us try to fit in the group by pretending that we are someone that we are not.
Throughout the movie, Mowgli is on the search for his tribe, whether that was the elephants, wolves, bear, or men. Part of the challenge of his search was trying to have the abilities or skills that an animal possesses rather than a human. Mowgli was able to succeed once he stopped pretending to be the animal and embraced being himself, by which he was able to defeat the tiger, Shere Khan.
Your true friends will always have your back. It doesn’t matter how many people you meet in a lifetime; there will always be a few who will always support you, no matter what. Mowgli had several loved ones who did their absolute best to protect and help him throughout his journey. In the movie, Mowgli was threatened by Sher Khan that he would find him and kill him once the water truce ended. Bagheera, the panther, was there for Mowgli when he needed him the most, which was when Shere Khan attacked Mowgli before getting to the man’s village. We should always appreciate these types of people in our lives. These are the people who will not abandon their friends; they genuinely want the best for us; they will protect and support us, and they will steer clear of people who seem untrustworthy or in bad situations. In life, our goal is to find these types of friends whom we can trust no matter how bad the situation is.
Be careful who you trust. In the movie Kaa, the snake desires to eat Mowgli, luring him in and promising to keep him safe. She hypnotizes him and relates how he came to live in the jungle when Shere Khan killed his father as they were traveling among the villages and Bagheera found him. During her storytelling, she attempts to devour him, but Baloo spots him and rescues Mowgli from her coil, denying her her meal. In the real world, there may be people who seem trustworthy but who actually end up being snakes in the end. Some of these people may try to get close to you right away or promise you things that seem too good to be true. Be wary of someone who seems too interested in getting close to you right away. This may come in the form of someone trying to sell you something that feels too good to be true. We should be looking out for red flags. Oftentimes, detecting someone who is untrustworthy is as easy as being aware of red flags and looking out for warning signs by understanding the situation and what they want in return.
Face your fears—the most important lesson learned from The Jungle Book—and let them guide you. Mowgli faced his fear of Shere Khan, the tiger. He built up the courage to save his friend Baloo by tying a burning tree branch to Shere Khan’s tail. Shere Khan fled in terror as a result, and Mowgli triumphed. Like Mowgli, we sometimes need to avoid our fears. This can help us lead a mediocre life. When we face our fears, we empower ourselves and gain confidence with each fear we conquer.
I myself had this fear of being ridiculed at the gym for being skinny, so I didn’t attend one. My friend motivated me and explained the benefits of working out at the gym, as well as the fact that everyone at the gym was once a beginner too. Persuaded by a friend, I faced my fear of getting ridiculed at the gym, and now I work out four days a week at a gym and love every minute of it.
‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself. –Franklin D. Roosevelt As you can see, missing out on such inspirational elements in a two-hour movie is very easy. It’s only possible to get this inspiration if you choose to focus on it. Insights are never easy to come by; I watched this movie twice to get inspiration from it. It’s just that insights are everywhere; you have to be ready to pick them up from the events. So basically, getting insight from somewhere is your own responsibility.
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