Behind every great team is a great coach. The Packers had Vince, UCLA had John, and The Turtles had Splinter.
The first time around, back when I was young and just wanted to watch cartoons about beating up bad guys and eating pizza, I missed just how important Master Splinter was to the team — to me. And the older I get the more I wish I would’ve paid attention to that soft-spoken, mutated rat of a martial arts Master.
Splinter never got angry. Splinter never seemed afraid. Splinter, even with four teenage turtles to care for, never seemed phased. He battled evil, sure, but more than that, he taught good. A drastically more difficult, and exponentially more thankless endeavor. But Splinter never complained, he taught. And he’s still teaching today.
3 Quotes From Master Splinter To Get You Through The Day
“Anger clouds the mind. Turned inward, it is an unconquerable enemy”
Raphael was, and still is, my favorite Turtle. If I was smart, though, I would’ve noticed that Raph was always the one getting into trouble and often having to be rescued. I’d have understood that anger is not freedom, but a cage. A weakness that confides us in the past. A sickness that prevents us from living our best. And I would’ve stopped carrying it long ago.
“There is no monster more dangerous than a lack of compassion.”
When you’re a kid, darkness is scary. When you’re an adult, people are.
Instead of handing out compassion like warm soup to the needy, we attack. Forgiveness is a relic. We loathe perfection in others, yet yearn for it in ourselves. Far more willing to condemn than compliment, we find enjoyment in the disaster of others and without constant reminders like Splinter’s words above, it will only get worse.
“We choose what holds us back and moves us forward.”
I was a junior in high school when mom lost her job and nearly everything we had. Luckily, her sister gave her a job to pay the bills. Overnight, my mom went from an executive to an assembly line. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but it wasn’t my mom.
After a month or so, she decided she wasn’t going to let someone else’s bad business decision hold her back. She quit, we moved, and today my mom does something she loves even more. A weaker person would’ve have let losing their dream job hold them back, but my mom used it to move her forward. Wish I’d have noticed that earlier … go mom!
Every now and again, when I’m feeling especially thoughtful, or lost, I take a walk. I look at the manholes lining the street. And I laugh at how badly I wanted four mutant brothers, pointy things and endless pizza. Now I just want the rat back.