as Posted on Brainz Magazine

I was invited to speak at one of my son’s school for career day. I was surprised when my son asked me. He said, “Dad, maybe one of the kids or teachers will hear what you have to say, and they will want to do what you are doing. It has helped you and our family so much!”


I was humbled by his request and started thinking of how I can teach what I do to a classroom of 10-year-old kids. I had about one and a half months to think about it before I would be speaking. Little did I know that I would get the privilege of speaking before 8 classrooms for about 15 to 20 minutes each.


I decided to use a kid’s film that many of them had probably seen … Kung Fu Panda. I love these films and believe that they teach some important lessons about life.


First, who is Po’s dad? What does Po’s dad do?


He’s a goose and he owns a restaurant where he makes soup, dumplings, stinky tofu, and noodles.


What does Po dream about in the beginning of the movie?


Poe wakes up from his dream and he’s dreaming about one thing. He spends all day thinking about that one thing. That one thing is not cooking, but Kung Fu!! We learn that Po wants to be a Kung Fu Master one day! However, Po doesn’t believe that he can become a Kung Fu Master because he isn’t like the Furious Five.


As the movie unfolds, we learn that Master Oogway is going to pick the Dragon Warrior. This is a huge event that many in the valley have been anticipating. When Po learns of this, he encourages everyone to go to the Jade Palace (the center of town and where some learn Kung Fu).


Po then goes to the Jade Palace to see who is going to be the Dragon Warrior. As he attempts to see who it will be, he ends up lighting a chair packed with fireworks. It launches in the air and dissolves before landing Po in the middle of the courtyard of the palace.


He opens his eyes to Master Oogway pointing at him. He asks if he was pointing to Tigress and he said, “No, I am pointing to you”.


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Once upon a time making resolutions was an annual routine for me.

I would start thinking about them the 3rd week of December and gauge how I had done the previous year. Of course, like many resolutions, it was pass or fail and the changes I wanted to make felt like a mountain l would never be able to scale.

One April, when I was 14 years old, my mom pulled me aside to chat with me about how I was doing. She was greatly concerned, because as the oldest, I was getting the brunt of my parents fighting. She wanted to give me some guidance and help me change despite the example being set at home. She knew I would need encouragement to be willing to not follow in my parent’s mistakes.

Her talk provided me with some insight into people and, for a while, it stuck. Of course, I then went on to be a rebellious teen. Once I realized that I was only hurting myself with my decisions, I decided that I needed to get serious about changing me. It took a few days for me to work through the old thinking and start to weed out the bad ideas about myself and others. Within a week, I had made some sweeping changes in my life. I cut out a lot of media, music, and books that weren’t helping me in order to change my thoughts and attitude. I know that for my few friends these steps seemed extreme.

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