It’s over 9000!
I was only 13 years old when I first came across Dragon Ball Z. It used to air on Toonami on Cartoon Network. Instantly my brother and I were hooked. What drew me to the show was not the violence or the action. It was this man with the fluttering orange red get up with the blue belt holding his stash of Senzu beans. Don’t worry I am not going to spoil this amazing anime for you in this post. I want to talk about how this man has shaped lives of people like me.
The thing is, that I was very timid when I came across this anime. I had low self esteem and was scared of horror movies and shows. I remember one time when I couldn’t sleep for weeks because of a horror show that I watched at someone else’s house at a party. It was not until that point that I realized how timid I really was.
Enter Kakarot or Goku, as he is affectionately referred to. Through the fifty odd episodes that aired at that time, I realized what true bravery was. Goku taught me that. True bravery is knowing that you have no chance of winning and still go all out. Instead of backing down and surrendering, he taught me how to take on life’s circumstances; with a big heart and unshakable confidence.
I was disappointed because the network would start repeating the episodes after episode number 53. I wanted to watch what happened next. I wanted to see how far can a supposedly mediocre person get, just by working hard and being righteous. Yes, it was Goku who taught me the path of righteousness.
When I went to undergrad, I struck the goldmine. One of my good friends owned the entire series and was willing to loan it to me. I was nothing short of ecstatic. The following couple weeks are what I like to call, Dragon Ball Z weeks. Because that is what I did for my waking hours. I finished the entire two hundred and seventy six episodes in those couple weeks. I had no idea the kind of impact it was going to have in my life.
From childhood I’ve been inclined towards sports. When I played sports, I noticed that I was a lot more willing to put in the extra work. I was not afraid of getting hurt. I would sometimes surprise myself at how far I was willing to go to do well.
People have idols in life who inspire them. They want to emulate those idols. Goku is my idol. He is the one who taught me how to keep looking up and moving forward when the odds are stacked against you. He taught me how to be the nice guy, even to the not so nice guys. He taught me the importance of putting in the work to get results. He taught me the importance of friendships and how they give you strength in life.
I am sure there are people who didn’t quite like the show because of its animation or the extremely slow fight sequences or the ridiculous side stories. Those things aside, this fictional man made it worth my time to watch him come back from behind and win. He made it worth watching him not gloat after winning. The attitude that he exudes is just not of this world (spoiler alert).
I don’t think it is humanly possible for me to fully emulate him. He is that rock which stands tall against the crashing waves in the face of adversity and storms. I don’t think I can ever reach that level. I can only strive to be more like him. I can only strive towards being the benevolent, strong, righteous person that he is.
Thank you Goku for shaping my life. I salute you!