Learning from Rafiki

My son is a rising junior at Virginia Tech and pulled a real bone-head trick last spring. Last week we found out that his scholarship was suspended again. His scholarship was suspended last spring when the Army pulled his scholarship because he failed a physical test. He says he was sick that day and missed the qualifying run time by few seconds. He did not know the impact of the failed test until the spring. When he showed up for classes in the spring, he found out that his scholarship was yanked. He got a loan to cover his tuition but it is obvious that this mini-crisis left him severely depressed. Eventually he stopped going to class and skipped most of his exams. You can guess what his spring semester grade point average was. Last week the Army told him his scholarship was suspended for the fall. He did not tell his mom or me until he had to. Naturally we reacted to the news differently. She can barely talk to him without making some kind of threat. He lied to her and her vision of his future is shattered. She is hurt and she wants her pound of flesh. I am disappointed but I know we have a short window in which we can partially fix the problem and develop a new career plan. The first part of the plan is to change majors. The job opportunities with this new plan are less but my son thinks he will be happier. Fixing his attitude is a bigger challenge. Maybe in a few years he can laugh at his actions. Here is what that wise old sage, Rafiki, said about living with the pain of bad decisions.

Adult Simba: I know what I have to do. But going back will mean facing my past. I’ve been running from it for so long.
[Rafiki hits Simba on the head with his stick]
Adult Simba: Ow! Jeez, what was that for?
Rafiki: It doesn’t matter. It’s in the past.
Adult Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts.
Rafiki: Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.
[swings his stick at Simba again who ducks out of the way]
Rafiki: Ha. You See? So what are you going to do?
Adult Simba: First, I’m gonna take your stick.
[Simba snatches Rafiki’s stick and throws it and Rafiki runs to grab it]
Rafiki: No, not the stick! Hey, where you going?
Adult Simba: I’m going back!
Rafiki: Good! Go on! Get out of here!
[Rafiki begins laughing and screeching loudly]

Rafiki (Character) – Quotes