The Independent Panda Fable

A story about the value of standing on your own two feet.

Puff the Panda spent much of her childhood learning how to take care of herself. Then, when she least expected it, she discovered the importance of her early lessons. Could she really survive alone?

Although Puff enjoyed spending time with the other animals in the forest, she also enjoyed her time alone. Roaming around made her feel free. She liked thinking that she could take care of herself.

One day, as the family was seeking bamboo plants for their supper, Puff drifted miles away, lost in the serenity of the experience. Before she knew it, there was no one familiar in sight. “Oh no,” she remarked in an alarmed voice. “Where on earth is my family?”

Puff started to feel a little anxious about not knowing where her family was, but she stayed calm.

“I know how to handle being on my own,” she said to herself. “There’s absolutely nothing to worry about.”

And with that, Puff continued roaming and feeding. After a couple of hours, she looked up and saw a familiar face – her brother’s. How happy she was to see him.

“Patrick!” she yelled. “I’m over here.” Her brother turned around and playfully ran to her.

“Thank goodness you’re safe, Puff,” he said as he hugged her. “I was worried, but mom and dad weren’t because they said you knew how to stand on your own two feet and take care of yourself.”

Puff smiled and said to herself, “I guess they were right.”

Moral of the story: Being independent gives you the skills to make sound decisions when the only person you have to rely on is yourself.

The Independent Panda Self-Reflection

Puff was from a family of pandas known to be independent and solitary creatures. She spent her years as a growing bear learning how to be independent. It was the only way she knew how to live and thought that’s how everybody did it.

It wasn’t until Puff was truly alone that she realized the value of being independent. Instead of panicking and making silly decisions, she stood on her own two feet.

When you grow up with parents and guardians, you live with a sense of protection. Learning how to take care of yourself comes much later, but it’s an important part of maturity.

Like Puff, your ability to stand on your own two feet is tested when you least expect it. How you respond to being on your own in a tough time is a test of your life lessons.

Believing in yourself is a crucial part of making important decisions in solitude. Although it’s easy to lean on others, there comes a time when standing upright is required.

When you know your strength, it’s easy to use it as your defense.

Being a part of a community opens you up to the support of others. It has its place in your life, but it’s important to avoid using it as a crutch.

There always comes a time when the people you lean on are out of your line of sight. You have a choice in those situations. Either crumble from the weight of going it alone or rise to the occasion and support yourself.

Find a balance between independence and relying on your loved ones for support. That way, you’ll always have the right ammunition to handle any difficulty you face.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. Which decisions are too intimidating for me to make on my own?
  2. What are some of the most important life lessons that I gained from my parents?
  3. What kind of example do I want to set for my kids?

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