For those who know the Pokemon theme song, it might've been a source of motivation for you to get things done, or to feel really cool and awesome at that moment. As children, we may have dreamed of being the best, "something," ever, not thinking of competition or of other people that would be attempting the same thing. We may have even gotten into back and forth arguments with fellow students over it as well. Needless to say, as we get older, certain aspirations of being the best start to transform into more realistic ideas and goals. As far as Pokemon goes, I definitely was not "the very best that no one ever was," but I did do well with what I had, and that was good enough for me.
I remember when Pokemon was really popular, before "GO", and I had friends encouraging me to start playing. Peer pressure aside, I thought it was a fun game and I learned a lot from my friends on how to get better, tricks and short cuts, and other useful tools for playing. At some point, I got the hang of the basics and I started understanding the game more to the point that I could guide and teach myself how to improve. Which battles do I fight and which ones do I run. How do I spend my money at the shop? Which Pokemon do I catch? Which Pokemon do I use more or less? That strategy side of the game was really interesting to me, but also the unknown amount of Pokemon that was out there to be both discovered and/or caught.
I realized very early on that games, video games in particular, have a lot of parallels to real life. In Pokemon, you develop a plan of attack to both defend yourself and train your Pokemon until they evolve. Then, you test your strategy at different gyms to get a badge that denotes your abilities. While you are training, you come across a lot of different Pokemon and trainers that challenge your abilities as the trail gets more difficult. Even when trying to catch Pokemon, there are some you'll get and others you'll lose. There will even be a lot that you won't find or even know exist, but that's the lure of the game, to keep searching. Who knows what's out there? Who knows how good I can get at battling and catching Pokemon. Maybe one day I'll find that one rare item or catch a Mew Two, which I always wished I'd find. It's not even about competing with people,it's about testing my own strengths and figuring out how to get better myself. If you're lucky enough, you'll have friends helping you along the way trying to do the same thing.
I'm glad Pokemon Go is out and it's cool to see people connecting with others as well. It's almost like the real thing, bumping into other trainers, going to established gyms in the area. The only thing that's missing is an actual pokeball that you can throw, but maybe that'll be an upgrade or DLC. It's just another manifested gaming community, striving to achieve a level of skill, just like us musicians. Get the gist of what has to be done, and go on a journey to get as good as possible. Testing your own limits, skills, strategies, etc. Some things you'll easily catch, and others it may take a few tries until you get it. Maybe there are things you'll never catch or even know exist and I personally have a few of those unattainable goals. Still, if you stop searching, you'll never know what's out there and you'll never know how much you know or have improved.
This journey is really dependent on you. Even though there are trainers that help you along the way, you have to do the walking and really be honest with yourself on what you can and can't do. there were times, when I played Pokemon, that I would go to a gym that was way above my skill level, and I would get beat in less than ten seconds. So, I had to be patient and wait until my team was strong enough, and then I would be able to win. We become our own teachers, figuring out what we have to do to improve, and not needing someone all the time to tell us how to do that. Masters are simply students of themselves and with that comes an ease of learning and refining techniques. Certain challenges that were difficult are now child's play, and that reinforces your training and encourages you to continue to improve.
I love Pokemon, but I probably won't play the new game, because I have to practice. Still, seeing it come back this strong just lets me know how much people appreciated and love the franchise to get back into it. It's so much fun and very addicting to look for that new creature or obtain that hard to get badge. Can't say that I feel any different about music, so I guess I'll go practice.
My parents used to tell me that I had to be 5 times better than the average person in order to do well in life. I didn't really understand what that meant at the time, but as I grew older i became more aware and determined to do what they advised. The news hasn't been very positive lately. It seems like every time we gain ground in liberal advancements in laws, like marriage equality and bathroom accommodations for the transgender community, more people lash out to against a different minority. Just so happens that this week, African Americans were the target this week, and for obvious reasons, this really got to me. I've been very fortunate to have lived this long with no negative interaction with a police officer, but I have experienced racism in other forms, just as other minorities have experienced prejudices from people and society. Even when I was young, some people would attribute any success I would have in music, to my blackness, not my work ethic. We can all see prejudice when it blatantly occurs, and but not so much when it is systematic. This is why we fight for equal pay between genders, marriage equality, immigration reform and other progressive laws. When we do, we can all see when society or lawmakers deter them from happening. All we can do, at least in this moment, is to acknowledge that prejudices are still in play, keep open minds in discussions, and call it out when it happens. Spread the awareness, and hopefully we can grow more empathetic towards our neighbors in the world.
About these Posts
Just some thoughts about how We, ourselves, are our best source of information and how we can become more aware of our thoughts.