Human Beings have always needed someone to teach the lessons of life before they actually step into the world and who would teach these lessons better than parents? No, this is not a rhetorical question. This one actually has an answer to it : Fictional Characters.
Why do I support the motion? Simple, I was taught life by three very important fictional characters who I met at very exact situations in my adolescence thus they helped me grow up. The thing about the human mind is that it needs or requires symbolism to work with anything or any idea. For instance, if no one ever gave you a symbol of + or -, adding and subtracting would be a very complex task and just to convince you if you aren’t still convinced, when someone says the word ‘Apple’, your brain immediately forms an image of the apple in your head so that you can actually understand but well the ‘new’ generation may form an already bitten apple in their heads and not the fruit but what difference does it make, eh? 😉
This is the very reason for introducing the concepts of allegories during different revolutions in the World History. French Revolution had Marianne who was the symbol of Liberty and Reason and Germania during the times of the Frankfurt Parliament who represented Heroism, Freedom, Power, Strength and Beginning. Enough illustrated, now to the main point of the article : Fictional Characters.
Since early times, I was a pretty different kid or maybe that is just what I thought but still. Finding the new world was a difficult and complex task. I realised that being fair was a game life had stopped playing. But things like these were not so easy to learn until I found new ways to actually learn lessons that I could not have learned otherwise, ‘Never giving up’, ‘Coping up with loneliness’, ‘Accepting your inner self no matter how different you are’, ‘Dealing with the sudden surprises life has up its sleeve’ and ‘Never think of not making a difference’. All of these were taught to me by three very important fictional characters whom I may forget someday but the lessons they taught will never fade, hopefully.
The first one entered my life when I was not as old as a ninth standard kid, it was Naruto Uzumaki from the Anime of the same name. Back then I used to watch cartoons on Cartoon Network in dubbed Hindi because English was a little too difficult for me or maybe that is just what I thought. Cartoon Network stopped showing Naruto after two seasons but I had caught hold of the idea of the character’s personality and it stayed, not for long but it did.
Then came the ninth standard which was tough, I had become a senior and was a little off-balance, things didn’t fall into place and everything, everyday was different, I developed a mean attitude towards people. I didn’t talk in English or Hindi, Sarcasm became my primary language. This was due to some bullying in the previous year and I learned that I was weak, a little too puny to stand up for myself so I started, ‘talking’. I started hating everyone just before I played Assassin’s Creed II and for the first time I realized that a Computer Game could make you cry. Ezio Auditore’s story, the way its shown sensitized me again, sanity, sympathy and emotions were not a lost cause now. I played the complete game and one of the few reasons I can control myself today is Ezio.
I entered tenth standard and I was introduced to new people, new situations, new stuff. That is when I realized that I had more attributes of an introvert than an extrovert (which I always thought myself to be). Now, dealing with new people was a little depressing for me, I didn’t know what was happening, situations changed, I had started believing I was different to the extent that I was not welcome but then I started watching Dexter. I could connect with Dexter Morgan, the main character. I learned that being different, not following a religion, not doing what everyone else did, being a little cut off didn’t matter much if I learned to fake a little. Facade was an art I learned by watching the show. Though, I still am pretty straightforward but I know how to hide the real me, when necessary.
A year passed and came the most weird, depressing year of my life, eleventh standard. Dreams were broken. I saw realities, I recognized my faults and I finally started believing I was worthless. The feeling had crept in so deep that I would not have got out if I didn’t start watching Naruto again. I don’t know what made me do so but I watched the complete series. Naruto taught me Not Giving Up was the best idea in every situation. No matter how hard life seems to be, no matter what happens, no matter how much you are ignored, no matter how people treat you, always believe in yourself. And believe it, I managed to get a hold of myself in the last 3 months of that particular year thanks to Naruto Uzumaki.
Why am I illustrating these situations and examples? Just to show how much Naruto, Ezio and Dexter, just three imaginary, fictional people made me understand and learn. I don’t feel ashamed in saying that fictional characters do have a major contribution in facing the ‘kid’ I am today.
The reason that I speculate for the very boon of my adolescence is that real people, real life and real situations are not written by someone so they lack some very important details but the personalities of fictional characters are well thought and have so much of depth that you can actually learn from them. I would finish this with the following lines :-
Gone are the days when life taught itself to you, it is too busy turning your world upside down. Learn from anything you see, anything you watch, anything you listen to and you will realize that life is the worst teacher ever.