TMNTRaphael2012The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are still around…
and my 7 year old stepson is a fan.
Toys, drawing, coloring books, books, Wiii games…
All Ninja Turtles, all the time.
Notice what I didn’t mention?
More on that in a bit.

I love media:

But unfortunately, I think most of us misuse media.
We use media to distract us from life.
I prefer to seek out media that inspires me to do better in life.

Like most kids, my stepson gravitates toward Ninja Turtles.
And like most kids, my stepson has a favorite character.
His favorite character is Raphael.
“Raph” is the tough guy of the group.
What kid wouldn’t like the tough guy?

Of all the ninja turtles, my stepson is the least like Raph.
He is considerate, polite, prosocial, silly…
and sometimes a target for those less mannered than himself.
And I don’t think it is an accident that he likes Raph.
Nobody picks on Raph.

And I encourage his like of Raph.
For all of Raph’s issues, Raph doesn’t lack assertiveness…
and that is something my stepson can learn from Raph.

Notice I said learn from Raph.
Not just fantasize about being Raph
or being distracted from his life by Raph…
but becoming a little bit more like him.

That’s where I come in.
While Raph can inspire,
I must instruct.
While I would never require my stepson
to have my level of investment in Martial Art,
or Raph’s, for that matter,
he must (and has) learn to stand up for himself.

While not all of us can be or will be Martial Artists,
Standing up for one’s self is an essential life skill
and one thing that Martial Arts can teach us all.
Raphael can start teaching the lesson for us,
but we must finish it.