For many of us, it’s no surprise that the Black Panther movie took the box office by storm and turned into a mega-movie blockbuster in one week.
What is surprising is the depth of the movie.
The more I reflect on this powerful piece of cinematography…the more lessons I learn…and messages I find.
After a little over a week to process this bold film, here are the top five lessons I believe we all should heed after watching The Black Panther…along with a few questions we all should ponder.
1. Be thoughtful about what you eat.
You don’t have to like the Erik Killmonger character to learn from him.
Throughout the movie his character was blessed with polarizing one-liners but the quote that stands out for me is:
“You got all this security in here watching you, but you’re not checking for what you put in your body.” ~ Killmonger
We chuckled at Killmonger’s clever quip when we realized what was happening to the museum curator, yet are we falling for the same trick in real life?
Food in America is slowly killing us.
Wait…did I say food?
The stuff we eat in America is slowly killing us. Let’s be honest, if we took the time to read the ingredients of some of the things we eat, we could barely call it food!
While many of us are deeply dissecting the many aspects and layers of the Black Panther movie, I do hope we all take a moment to fully digest the movie’s jokes about food.
For example when M’Baku’s told Agent Ross, “YOU cannot talk! One more word and I will feed you to my children. (distant chuckles) I’m just kidding. We are vegetarians.”
We are vegetarians…did you catch that?
After all, we are what we eat.
Want to be Wakandan?
What are you eating?
2. We need support to improve ourselves.
Right from the beginning of the movie it becomes clear that T’Challa is enhanced by his team.
Even his baby sister reminds him of his need to constantly find ways to improve.
“How many times do I have to teach you that just because something works doesn’t mean it can’t be improve.” ~ Shuri
Later, this lesson is solidified by his father during a vision shortly after being crowned king.
“You will struggle. Surround yourself with people you trust.” ~ King T’Chaka
We all have room for improvement. Our humanity requires it.
What steps do you take daily to develop yourself?
A lack of development leads to atrophy.
Are you improving or eroding?
3. The stabilizing power of commitment.
Okoye, T’Challa’s general and bodyguard provided a chilling display of what it really means to be committed to something. Even when things got tough, she remained aligned with her commitment and oath.
This commitment was clearly visible when Nakia attempted to sway Okoye into leaving the cause of her new king, Killmonger. This was quickly shut down by Okoye when she said, “I am loyal to the throne. No matter who sits upon it! What are you loyal too!”
Okoye’s commitment to the throne of Wakanda provided a powerful parallel to what it means to BE committed.
Okoye’s devotion didn’t shift based on the situation. Her allegiance didn’t change due to circumstances.
Even when faced with the emotional conflicts of the heart, Okoye did not waver. Remember on the battlefield when W’Kabi asked, “Would you kill me my love?”
Okoye boldly answered, “For Wakanda…without question!”
To what are you committed?
4. The labor of legacy.
Creating a legacy is hard work. If it were easy, there’d be a lot more real life legends.
The story of T’Challa as Black Panther carefully observed this truth. One quote that really stood out for me came from King T’Chaka his father:
“A man that has not prepared his children for his own death has failed as a father.” ~ T’Chaka
As a new father those words stuck with me.
It hurts my heart even now to think of the men I have personally known, who were great in life, but died in the shadow of shame, due to leaving their families in poverty. How does the simplicity of solidifying one’s legacy and the welfare of their offspring with life insurance, a will and a living trust elude so many?
It’s not just the lessons we teach our children as fathers and mothers that matter. It’s also the example we set with our actions, that will prepare them to follow these lessons.
…and I can here some excuse themselves and say…I had no example.
For you I share Nakia’s words to T’Challa, as he grappled with a hidden truth about his father, “You cannot let your fathers mistakes define who you are. You get to decide what kind of king you are going to be.”
You get to decide…
What kind of king will you be?
What kind of queen will you be?
5. The cost of abandoning family.
To truly believe that I am strong, I must believe that my brother…who came from the same source as I, is strong too.
To abandon him and/or his seed is to abandon my own strength.
This was the sin of our African forefathers that sold their brothers and sisters as slaves…the same as it was the sin of T’challa’s father who abandoned his nephew.
The cost of our forefather’s sin led to the pillage, rape and colonization of Africa. Africa was fragmented and weakened when her people were stolen and sold away to the Americas.
Just as the cost of T’Chaka’s sin nearly cost T’challa his life and the destabilization of Wakanda.
After abandoning her family, Africa has paid a large debt.
“…and the child…we left him. We had to maintain the lie.” ~ Zuri
Even now…across the globe…lies are being maintained. Our leaders maintain these lies even though they are ripping out the seams of our social fabric as human beings.
It’s time to STOP maintaining the lies.
All men and women have a birthright of freedom and deserve unfiltered equality.
No matter our color…we are all sisters and brothers.
Will you abandon your family?
“Y’all sitting up comfortable. Must feel good. It’s about 2 billion people all over the world that look like us, but there lives are a lot harder.” ~ Killmonger
Will you declare the truth or maintain the lie?
About the Author:
Global Entrepreneur – Certified Life Coach – Media Personality – Speaker
Linal Harris is a global entrepreneur, certified life coach, author, and media personality. As the founder of Inspirational Perspective® Publishing, LLC and Insights 4 Life™ Coaching, LLC, Harris challenges his global audience and coaching clients to Murder Mediocrity® and live their best life possible. Harris concentrates his work as an ontological coach with clients on what he calls the 4 pillars of life; the relationship we have to ourselves, the relationships we have with others, our relationship to work and money, and the connection we have to our spirit and life’s purpose. Harris coaches CEO’s, executives, entrepreneurs, athletes and celebrities. Harris is the author of “Slay Your Goals”, where he provides his readers with scientific and research backed tips for achieving their goals. Harris is an expert goal-setter and has been called upon by Fortune 500 companies to assist with setting their strategic priorities, facilitate goal-setting sessions and provide inspirational talks.
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