Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lessons from Shrek Forever After

A few weeks ago, my family went to watch the movie "Shrek Forever After". It was a theme which many adults can relate too. In the case of parents, at times, we find parenthood too intense and would want to return to the past. For others, it could relate to a challenge that one is facing and hope to return to well the good, old past.

The Story

The movie began with once upon a time, there lived a princess, Fiona who was under a curse. By day, a beautiful lady, by night an ogre - a hideous creature. This cycle will only be broken by the kiss of true love. Fiona lived in a high tower, guarded by a fiery dragon, while she waited for her Prince Charming. Days became months, and months became years.

Her parents, the King and Queen of Far Far Away Land were desperate and turned to the help of the magical con man Rumplestiltskin. In the nick of time, they heard the news that an ogre, Shrek has come to Fiona's rescue. Thereafter, Shrek and Fiona settled down, had three beautiful children and they lived happily ever after. Or until, Shrek was exhausted from his wonderful life.

[Lesson 1: Many a time, we are exhausted from the daily demands of life. We are weary of our mundane life. We hope to go back to the past. Thinking that we have it better than. We forget to think of the bliss that we are currently in. But this is not always true. So the next time, when you encounter a challenge and hope to go back to the past. Think again. ]

At the one year birthday party of his three children, he flew into a temper and hoped that he could return to the good old days. He was tricked into a magical contract with Rumpelstiltskin whereby he signed away one day in his childhood day, a day which he could not remember, in exchange for a day as an ogre whereby people feared him.

Unknown to him then, the day that he had signed away was the day he was born. Without him saving Fiona from the tower, Far Far Away became an awful place because the King and Queen signed the magical contract. They wished for a solution to Fiona's curse. A solution they got themselves was to vanish into the air. In return, Rumpelstiltskin became the ruler of Far Far Away. In this alternate world, the ogres were all slaves to Rumpelstiltskin.

[Lesson 2 is about Rumpelstiltskin's too hard to resist contract. When things look too good to be true, it probably is.]

Shrek, was a stranger to his old friends. Luckily for him, there was an exit clause - kiss of true love. However, he must win their trust and Fiona's heart to break the spell before sunset. Failure would bind the contract final. Shrek became friends again with the singing donkey and cat.

At first, he was in a haste to make Fiona, the leader of the resistance group in the alternate world, kiss him. But the spell remained as Fiona did not love him. It was sacrifice on the part of Shrek - giving himself up to Rupelstiltskin in return for the freedom of all ogres that touched Fiona's heart.

Hand-in-hand, they fought against the fiery dragon and fell in love all over again. The spell was broken and Shrek was transported to the world before the contract was inked.

He now realised that he already has the best things in life. The story ended with the very poignant message embedded in the conversation between Shrek and Fiona.

"You say that I am the true love who save you from the Dragon?" Shrek asked.

"Yes, you are." Fiona smiled and loved at Shrek lovingly.

"I say that you are the one who save me from my world." Shrek replied knowingly.

[ Lesson 3 is on love. Loving a person is not about you - about how much the person love you. But it is about how well the person live thereafter. Love is a two-way street. It changes both parties.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.
- I Corinthians, chapter 13"

I love you, darling.]

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