“Good Luck? Who needs good luck? Make your own damn luck.”
While perusing through YouTube, I found this old montage from back in the days when Cartoon Network began showing anime (Japanese animation) as part of their immensely popular afternoon programming session called Toonami. As a young teenager, everyday after school I would tune into Toonami and watch the episodes of Dragon Ball Z, Gundam Wing, Outlaw Star and the like. For my generation, it seemed to be as a ritual almost, as everyone in middle school I knew would always raved about these cartoons. And for good reason: they were freaking awesome (and many of them are still awesome)!
Toonami had a tradition of piecing together these collages from snippets of anime in their line-up, usually with the intent either of conveying some sort of positive theme, message, or advice for their audience (which at the time consisted mostly of young kids and teenagers) or with the intent of just being cool. I didn’t have much of a discerning eye for art back then – and the same would apply today really – but, as a young teenager, I found them all to be both instructive and creative in their own unique albeit nerdy kind of way.
Broken Promises [Dreams] was my favorite one, and, in my opinion, the best and most profound one Toonami ever did. Anyone – and I mean anyone – familiar with anime and Toonami would have seen this montage. I guarantee it. It’s message is clear, found in the last line of the video: whatever happens in life, pursue your dreams and formulate your own destiny – your own “luck” – but don’t be afraid to fail.
Does it sound cheesy, corny, cliché? Maybe. But when you’re a kid or a teenager in the West, where individual liberty, rights, and responsibilities generally take precedent over communal obligation and cohesion, it’s the sort of thing you should or would probably hear. Society or our parents or whatever often imposes a set of expectations on us that are either unrealistically high and therefore unachievable or aren’t even ours to begin with. Sometimes the dreams we live by belong to someone else: we live by are those of parents or society or government or whoever; but seldom do we ask where are our dreams? Failure, we are often told, is not an option. Yet, it is option and possibility. In fact, I have this as a personal philosophy to this effect: failure can be a much better teacher than success, if you’re wise enough to learn from your failures.
Anyway, enough pontificating. I figured I’d post this video my blog, since I think it’s message was pertinent to the some issues I’m dealing with right now in my life and since I think the advice, from the perspective of a Westerner, is pretty sound. Some may question the medium through which this message is transmitted, but as the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم said himself, “Wisdom is the believer’s straying camel; he takes it from wherever he can find it and does not care from what vessel it has issued.”
And as for the message itself: there may indeed be some folly in it, something I perhaps glossed over, but even gold, the great Imam al-Ghazali reminds us in his The Deliverer From Error (which I highly recommend reading), is mined from dirt, mud, and sand.