One of my favorite movies is not even a movie at all. I am a great fan of some of the old Disney cartoons. I have to admit, I was raised on them & in most cases I did not mind watching them at all. Let’s begin with the Lion King, shall we? A classic coming of age movie with a twist. It is about animals in the jungle & the starring role is that of a lion, as you may have guessed through the title. The main character, Simba, is thrust into controversy through the actions of his uncle. We suddenly find the young cub in the middle of a stampede. His father is able to save him but in doing so, he loses his own life. Simba is torn & when his uncle, Scar, confronts him he is easy to manipulate. Scar, convinces Simba to leave the pride & once he does, Scar seizes control of the pride for himself.

Eventually, Simba finds a home & friends who help him grow into the lion he was meant to be all along. Simbas peace is not meant to last though because soon he comes to learn the truth. That his uncle is causing much harm to the pride & the entire circle of life is suffering for it. Simba finds the courage to come home & confront his uncle. He faces many challenges along the way but he struggles through them. When he comes face to face with his uncle there is a fight for the control of the pride. Even though Simba is bigger & stronger, his uncle Scar has a few tricks up his sleeve. He does not intend to go down with out a fight.

When all is said & done, the dust settles & Simba has won the fight but refused to kill his uncle. He banishes him & the last we get to see of Scar he in the hands of his previous henchmen who now feel they have been wronged by their would be leader. The end of the movie finds Simba is happily married & living his new life as the leader of the pride. He is not only married but has just had children of his own, which he is celebrating & introducing to the world just as his father had done for him as a cub. We get the overwhelming feeling that all is right with the world & the circle of life is back to the way it should be.

Except we know that life throws hardballs at you all the time particularly as you get older. Just the other day my world was rocked when my girlfriend texted me “Have you heard of std test at home kits?” ” What’s going on?” Instead of texting I give her a call. It turns out that her younger brother is freaking out about certain symptoms he is experiencing and refuses to go to a clinic or doctor to be tested for a possible STD. So as a compromise my sister wants him to buy an at home STD test kit, IF such a thing is available. I do a google search and find several promising sites. Test results are in 15 minutes with the accuracy rate between 95% to 99%. The down side is the kits are only available for the most common STDs such as Hep B, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, and chlamydia. Her brother decides to get the gonorrhea test kit since his symptoms seem to have more in common with gonorrhea symptoms. Well he tested positive and we convinced him to go to a clinic and get treated, pronto as well as inform any / all sexual partners. Both of us lectured him on the use of condoms- always! Well life is certainly not always smooth sailing.

There are many lessons to be learned by watching this cartoon. Every young person should watch this movie growing up because it can definitely teach them a lot about life. I’m not sure if I agree completely with the previous sentiment. The Lion King cartoon is great, but watching life presented in a cartoon is very different from living it. Particularly when you are a teenager!

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