The Bull or the Matador

Tuesdays with Ryz: Are You a Bull or a Matador?

I have always loved Bugs Bunny.  He is one of the most complicated and entertaining cartoon characters.  While he can never quite find his ways to Albuquerque, his wit, comedic timing and, honestly, some what arrogance, creates a Yin and Yang type personality that entertains, educates and, in some cases, root agains.

One of my favorite Looney Tunes episodes has always been the one where he portrayed a matador going up against the vicious bull.  Even watching it today, I am still laughing and smiling like a kid, but also seeing how helpful it actually is in understanding the decisions we have in approaching experiences in our lives to either learn or succeed in our relationships, our careers and our communities.  If you have never seen it or, if you haven’t seen it in a while, take a moment to enjoy the episode above.

Now, I’ll give you a moment to compose yourself from the hilarity that just ensued….

While the cartoon is enjoyable, it showcases a great dichotomy between two forces that actually is a great lesson in understanding your own awareness of your own self.  As you watch it, think about Bugs and the Bull and ask yourself one simple question: are you a bull or a matador?


It is interesting to watch the bull’s journey in this episode.  He is first successful, aggressive and earns the praises of the fans from around the arena.  However, as he meets a foe in Bugs, you see more of his stubbornness and aggressiveness start to work against him.  The reactionary tone and determination to use brute force ends up being his downfall.  While he is limited to his natural resources, his intimidating nature only takes him so far.  And, in the end, the fan fare that showered him with flowers are now cheering his foe who has gotten the best of him.


The matador, on the other hand, appears to be a more crazy and strategic individual.  You will notice that rather than reacting to the situation, Bugs is actually the one setting up the result based on how he has studied the bull.  However, he is an antagonist and, though successful, has an arrogance about him that continues to make the bull more and more angry.  Instead of reasoning and negotiating to find a “win-win,” he devises a different way to use the bull’s tendencies, strengths and weaknesses, against him.


There are more observations you can make about the bull and the matador.  However, the answer to which one you are is really more complicated than the actual art of bullfighting itself.  You see, we all need to be one of these at different points in our lives.  Depending on the situation, we are required to call upon a version of ourself to see if we need to be a bull or a matador.  Even in your personal lives, you encounter bulls who try to take you over and matadors who manipulate you with peer pressure and other elements.  Just as important as figuring out who you need to be is how you handle the opposition.

What it comes down to is that we are comfortable being one of these in our basic state.  However, we need to know that sometimes we see red and have to be the aggressive attitude of the bull, while other moments require a more calculated approach to our lives and the opportunities around us.  Taking time to answer this question ensures that, whatever situation we are put in, we are showered with roses as victors in the end.