Director's Angle circleoflife

Published on June 9th, 2014 | by Olumide

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The Circle of Life (Lion King Series 1)

Today, I’ll begin a series on the world’s number one musical cartoon. It is unarguably one of the deepest works of art ever written for kids and adults. It is definitely my best cartoon. It’s none other than Disney’s Lion King. I’m going to be talking about it for the next couple of weeks and trust me, you don’t want to miss one of the most inspiring radio series ever done.

Lion King opens with the birth of King Mufasa’s “son”, Simba. There is a “child dedication” ceremony in which old sage, Rafiki, presents Simba to King Mufasa, his wife Queen Sarabi, and the entire kingdom. We later get to see a reference to the concept that I will talk about today- the circle of life- when the following conversation takes place between Mufasa and Simba:

Mufasa: “Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.”

Simba: “But, Dad, don’t we eat the antelope?”

Mufasa: “Yes, Simba, but let me explain. When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connected in the great Circle of Life.”

I will bring out 3 lessons from the Circle of Life concept:

First, for virtually all living things, there is some form of birth and termination of life at a stage. For humans, death is a necessity. Very few of us will still be alive a century from now. If indeed it is an incontrovertible fact that we will die, then why do some of us live as if they never will? Some of our leaders in Nigeria and Africa as a whole are known to have embezzled amounts of money that would still amount to sizable chunks if distributed to every single citizen of the nation. How does this make sense? We need to remember that we will not always live forever and only the memories of us, good or bad, will survive.

Secondly, we are all part of a grand circle and it is up to us to play our part. In ways we may not realize, our actions affect the balance of the circle. When we throw litter on the streets, we make the environment unsafe for others. When we refuse to train up our children, we create more robbers and assassins for the society to deal with. When we refuse to vote, we create more years of misrule and fraud by our absence. Our actions and inactions determine the direction millions of people will go.

Thirdly, as Mufasa taught Simba, the survival of the lion is dependent on the grass because the antelope (which lions eat) eats grass. In other words, your survival is dependent on the least person in your organization. I need my office cleaner just as much as she needs me. I need my security man just as much as he needs me. If I make the mistake of believing that I am more important than them and so treat them with disdain, it may be to my undoing because we are all parts of a circle.

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