WHAT I LEARNED FROM CARTOONS: DETERMINATION

Posted: October 10, 2012 by baki3626 in Life Lessons
Tags: , , , , , , ,

There aren’t many things in this world that I pride myself on. I like sports but can’t really scroll off a lot of stats. I like to cook but struggle to eat some of mine own dishes. However when it comes to cartoons, I excel like no other. I didn’t just grow up watching them as a child. I still watch them as an adult. I’ve bought several of my favorite series on DVD and have taken numerous classes on them throughout my schooling. You’re probably wondering why. Why would a grown man care so much about animated, anthropomorphic creatures running around like they have no sense in abstract universes with arbitrary parameters? Because cartoons taught me some of the greatest life lessons I ever learned.

One of my favorite cartoons is “Pinky and the Brain.” If you aren’t familiar with this show, the Brain is essentially the leader or “brains” of the duo while Pinky supplies comic relief along with moral support. The show’s premise is very simple: two lab mice try to take over the world on a daily basis. I say daily because they literally fail every single time they try to accomplish this goal. And there in lies the lesson. For whatever reason, the Brain feels he is destined to become ruler of the world.

And despite his exceedingly high intelligence, he’s still just a simple lab mouse that stands maybe 4 inches high, has no army, no funding, no real area of expertise and has no chance of success. Yet every day, him and Pinky try with all their might to fulfill their dream. They never give up. They might get weary, discouraged and frustrated but they never give up. They evaluate their mistakes and move forward. They try new and innovative ideas, adapt and grow.

Real life works a lot like this. I’ve never tried to take over the world necessarily but I have met it head on countless times. I’ve struggled with adversities and obstacles that I care not to share. And just like Pinky and the Brain, I’ve gotten weary, discouraged and frustrated. I’ve wanted to call it quits and forget that I ever had any dreams or aspirations in the first place. But because of their example, I’ve always been able to find some hope. I’ve persevered against odds that I’d once thought were insurmountable. And just like Pinky and the Brain, I’ve had to do it on a daily basis. I’ve had to find new and innovative ways to face my problems. I’ve had to find strength in places I’d never thought I would.

And like the Brain, I’ve been fortunate enough to have a “Pinky” or two at my side to help me when I lose my way. To keep me focused when I don’t know which way is up. And to care about me when the world is beating me down. After all, if two tiny lab mice can keep their heads up, what excuse could I possibly have?

I don’t expect everyone to have the same take-aways from cartoons that I do. People interpret stories in their own way. But my hope is that after reading this you at least have some appreciation for cartoons that you might not have had before. I’ve often been criticized for being too old to watch cartoons. To which I respond, I’m too old not to.

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Comments
  1. I’m hoping that old adage that television rots your brain is true because I willingly subject my child to at least three hours of t.v. a day. Why? Because if I didn’t, I’m actually afraid he’d be a miniature Napoleon Bonaparte…or a Brain. It’s true. Ben and I discussed this yesterday on the car ride to work, so your post couldn’t have been at a better time. Will’s little imagination is huge. I gotta keep it in check for all of our safety.

  2. baki3626 says:

    I definitely think that cartoons can enhance an already active imagination. And since Will is your kid, I’d guess he’s also wildly creative. So basically, that kid will soon own this world and every being in it. I hope you’re happy, Ferne.

  3. I really thought I was on to something there. At least he’ll be benevolent leader. I’m sure he’ll also make Mondays “Craft Day.”

  4. baki3626 says:

    I don’t think you could call him benevolent if he DIDN’T have “Craft Day” on Mondays.

  5. You read my mind! One of the great things about cartoons was that there was always an inherent message. It might not have been the smartest or most practical thing, but there was a message nevertheless. Pinky and the Brain was one of my favorites 🙂

  6. baki3626 says:

    You’re absolutely right. A message presented in a silly or fun manner is still a message. Thanks a lot for reading. 🙂

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