A few weeks ago we went to a military movie theater with our kids to watch a Disney movie “Princess and Frog”. I was curious if our older son could sit through a 90 minutes animation film, and it turned out he did fine for the most part, though there were some parts where a voodoo doctor appeared which was scary for him. It was an entertaining story with so much color and music, with an unique storyline; The main character Tiana turned into a frog when she kissed a voodoo cursed frog, thinking it’ll turn him back to a prince. Together they visit Mama Odie, hoping that she’d undo the curse, but she told Tiana that she needs to understand the difference between what she wants and what she needs.
This left her puzzled. She had been working all her life so she can open her own dream restaurant – a dream that her father and she shared. Her father worked so hard for that but he never made it. There was a scene where she remembered her father telling her “Never lose a sight of what’s important”. As a young girl, she didn’t really understand what he meant. But towards the end of the movie, when she faced off with the voodoo doctor, who was creating the illusion of her dream restaurant in exchange of charm she had in her possession, she finally got it. She remembered how her father would come home and hug his wife and daughter, very happily. She said to the voodoo doctor “My father never got what he wanted. But he had what he needed!”. With that realization, Tiana defused the illusion and chose to stay as frog so she can be with frog prince whom she came to love during their journey.
Sometimes it is hard for even grown-ups to have a clear distinction between “wants” and “needs”. It is okay to want more in life. Generally speaking, there seems to be no harm in wanting more or something better. What parents would not want more & better for their children? But this is a reminder that we should not let “wanting more and better” prevent us from looking at what we have. When I look at my own life, I do have everything I need. I believe that knowing this does not diminish my desire to create something great and of value, or this does not mean that my hopes and dreams are not worth trying to achieve, but when I look at my husband and my two kids, hugging each other and telling each other “I love you”, I can’t help but smile. I already have everything I need, and I also have something I hope for. I am very grateful that I have both.