10 Life Lessons I Learned From Pokemon
Gotta catch ‘em all. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think Pokémon life lessons right? Well jack, I got news for you, that ain’t it. There’s so much more that these pocket and/or whale sized monsters have to teach us.
Mind your basic energy
This one comes from the actual tabletop card game. You have to manage your resources in order to get your Pokémon out onto the battlefield. Just like Pokémon, people have different types of energy reserves. Hanging out with friends feels like drawing upon different resources than leading a meeting at work. Cooking dinner feels different than going for a bike ride. You can get burnt out and imbalanced doing too much of one thing, so mind your internal energy resources and plan accordingly.
Assemble a good team
When going to battle (aka living an everyday life) You want a well balanced group of friends. You don’t need a squad full of fire Pokémon. You do not want a life full of people who are only going to say yes to you. (Well maybe you do want that but we can all agree that’s not healthy.) Pokémon teaches us all the lesson of strength through diversity, ultimately it’s about seeking out friends with different strengths and skills.
Stand up to oppressors
They may have flashy outfits. They may have great hair. But they are oppressors nonetheless and you must be the hero. Life is full of baddies, and if you don’t stand up to people who are trying to quash the freedom of others, then you are complicit. And unlike joining Team Rocket, you won’t get a talking cat if you side with the villains. All you’ll get is a heavy conscience and the knowledge that you are making the world worse.
The world is so much bigger than you know
When the original 150 were released, I was content. But there was so much more out there, there are hundreds and hundreds of Pokémon now. With presumably more being created every year. Like the ever expanding universe, so too will Pokémon stretch onto infinity. The vast amount of knowledge to be gained is unattainable by one solitary person. It’s humbling to think about, but makes me feel free; knowing that I will never know everything.
Everyday objects are magical
A bell, a building, an ice cream cone. These innocuous, mundane objects are easy to take for granted. But just like the Pokémon they inspired, each one has a spirit, an aura that we imbue it with when we give it our attention. We can stretch our imaginations and give life and personality to everything around us and make our everyday just a little bit more magical.
Keep your own counsel
Play with the characters you like. If you love Pidgeys, build up that all-star Pidgey team baby. (I don’t think many folks have Pidgey as their favorite poke, but you see my point.) Pokémon, like life, has multitudes of different solutions. You don’t need legendary Pokémon to beat the final four, all you need is a trained team that you know in your heart has been well prepared. Don’t let anyone tell you the typing you have on your team is not right for the battle, you know you can always grind your way to victory.
There’s more beneath the surface and it’s stranger than you imagine
Contemplate if you will, Digletts. Those lil’ hot dog guys seem small, but they are mighty. What lurks beneath the surface? Many have theorized, but only Arceus in their wisdom and grace knows the truth. Some theorize that Digletts have a big body, some say it’s smaller than their little nubbin heads. But the truth is probably much stranger. The mysteries of Diglett are many. What do they taste like? What do their noses feel like? Do they have feet? We may never know, but those mysteries keep our imaginations and minds wide open to new possibilities.
Friendship should not be hard
Do you have that one friend who’s always causing you drama and heartache? Who makes you feel like you’re never doing enough? Never saying the right thing? Well trainer, might be time to switch up your party. Friendships (or any relationship for that matter) should make you feel better more often than they make you feel worse. All it takes to make your Pokémon like you is to feed them a treat occasionally and spend some time with them. It’s really that simple.
Gigantimaxing is just an illusion
No one is larger than life. We all breathe, strive, and die. While some people may seem huge or intimidating, we are really all more similar than we are different. Gigantimaxing makes Pokémon grow slightly but projection effects warp the space and energy around them making them seem enormous. It’s the same for people, where some folks seem so intimidatingly larger than life that we hesitate to approach them or revere them as gods. Instead of Galar particles warping our perception of them, it’s money or fame or carefully curated mythos.
You DON’T gotta catch ‘em all
Society will tell you all kinds of things. The collective, omnipresent “they” will shout at you to tell you who you are, how you should feel, what you should want. It seems like life comes with rules, with musts. It’s printed right there on the box. It’s being sung right into your ears. “Gotta catch ‘em all.” But playing through Pokémon doesn’t actually require you to catch ‘em all. You can catch some of ‘em and still have an equally rich experience. This perhaps is the most profound lesson of all: just because society is telling you something is true or is an absolute necessity, doesn’t mean it is.
Now take these lessons and go forth into the great Unown.