Monday, January 9, 2017

Pokemon Lessons: Us vs. Them

It’s been 2 months since the Presidential Election and I have tried to be consciously quiet about it on my Facebook, on here, and on my personal blog. I have my opinions on the election like all people, of course. However, I think the bigger problem with the election and the world in general is the us vs. them mentality. Democrats vs. Republicans. Conservatives vs. Liberals. Gays vs. Straights. Christians vs. Muslims. DC vs. Marvel. Digimon vs. Pokemon. The list could go on, but here’s where I get deep.

Remember when we were younger and The First Pokémon movie came out? We were all excited about this theatrical release of such a fundamental part of our childhood. I remember going in psyched for Mewtwo, who was supposed to be the strongest Pokémon ever (that’s sort of changed now, but Mewtwo is still pretty awesome). Never mind the fact that we were treated to Charizard, Venusaur, and Blastoise all together. However, do you remember the crucible moment for Mewtwo? Do you remember those deep moments that have brought people to tears?

If you remember, Meowth was cloned by accident, while Team Rocket was snooping around the castle. When all of the super clones were released by Mewtwo and ordered to battle their counterparts, Meowth was initially freaked out because he thought he’d be attacked. But instead his clone was a passivist (how did that happen?). The benefit of having a talking Pokémon there is that we got one of the deepest exchanges I’ve seen in the Pokémon anime:

“We do have a lot in common. The same air, the same Earth, the same sky. Maybe if we started looking at what's the same instead of always looking at what's different ...well, who knows?”

I’ve said it before with issues that, in my opinion, have more eternal significance than an election, but the biggest problem facing us right now isn’t a political party or a candidate or a group of people. Instead, the biggest problem facing us now is hate.

The Savior commanded us to “love one another” (John 13:34). This wasn’t a flippant comment and it’s not just an easy cool one-liner. It’s more than just a primary song that we learned to sign when we were little. He really lived this way. Personally I know I need to love more. I mean, Christ was able to forgive the soldiers who killed Him and despite being betrayed by Judas, He showed no ill-will towards him. Can you honestly picture the Savior saying anything like what gets put on Facebook all too frequently?

I see it all the time: “Liberals want this and we can’t stand for it as conservatives” or “Conservatives have caused this problem because of this and as liberals we have to stand up to them”. First off, I don’t care for all-encompassing comments about any group (because no two people have exactly the same opinion anyway) but how is this making things any better? Sure I could pull a Donna Noble and complain about everything to try to make my life better, but it really doesn’t do anything. I spend way too much time complaining and being mad at people. It only rips me apart and pushes me further away from God. As much as I detest New Years Resolutions (because I think they’re a joke), this would be a good resolution to make: less complaining, less dividing, and more loving.

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