Finding out Who you Are with Moana

In the middle of singing “How Far I’ll Go”, Moana looks out to the sea and says “What is wrong with me?”.  I remember the first time I saw Moana, I did not really pay attention to those words, but the second time I saw it, those words hit me because I knew I said something similar to that when I was a young boy.

You see, when I was in grammar school and high school, I was not the athletic/outdoorsy type of guy that I am today. I would always be reading something or playing video games, but I always felt like I was an outcast for feeling this way. When you are a student, your parents always have these high expectations of you and when you do not reach those expectations, you begin to wonder what you are doing wrong.

When I was in high school I wrestled and played football, but I realized that it was not for me. Although I never played in our football games, it felt great being part of a team and knowing that my father took some pride in knowing that I was a football player. I don’t know if I disappointed him when I did not try out for the team again the following year, but no matter what my father was supportive of whatever I wanted to do.

Ok, so what does all of that have to do with Moana? I’ll tell you. Moana is trying to find herself. She wants to fit in with her family and her community, but she doesn’t want to give up who she is or her dreams. I know that kids today have so much on their plate that they don’t really get a chance of being who they are. Some children go from school to some type of practice, be it sport or dancing. Then they go home and do their homework and the next day the cycle starts all over again.

Imagine how many times these children ask themselves, “What is wrong with me?” when they don’t make a team or become part of a recital. I think, like Moana, our children should be able to go after what they want and learn that some things are not easy and that it is ok to fail. Remember Moana’s first attempt at sailing by herself? If our children never learn to fail, they will never be able to learn what they can do by themselves.

All of these ups and downs in a child’s life make them a better, well-rounded person. Just listen to the lyrics that Moana’s grandmother sings to her:

The people you love will change you
The things you have learned will guide you
And nothing on Earth can silence
The quiet voice still inside you
And when that voice starts to whisper
Moana, you’ve come so far
Moana, listen
Do you know who you are?

Those are powerful words to tell a child, but it is so true. We are all products of our environment, but we have to know to listen to the voice inside of us to achieve our goals in life. I think Moana is a movie that should be seen by all children to see that the confidence to achieve their goals is always inside of them.

Starting on January 27th, you can catch Moana on the big screen again in a sing-along version. Now you can sing all of your favorite songs with your friends and family!
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