So, recently I’ve gotten involved with the maelstrom which has been the Undertale fan base. For those of you who don’t know what Undertale is, it’s a video game where the whole point is that you don’t have to kill anyone or anything to win. This resulted in a few variations of the gameplay. In an effort to not spoil any of the contents for my readers who haven’t ever played it before, I’ll spare names and details but in short there are three main play paths. First is the Pacifist, which is how the game is “meant” to be played, in which you don’t harm or kill any living being in the world. Then there is the Neutral play through where you kill some monsters and spare others, then after that there is the Genocide play through which, as it sounds, you kill every living and breathing thing in the universe. Each ending is different and many of the battles/scenes in the game differ amongst the various paths you choose. There are tons more besides just those three and many of them will alter your play through.
Because I didn’t want to be spoiled for storylines, I played through the Pacifist run first, along the way I became so attached to some of the characters that I had to wait a while before starting another play through because I knew what was inevitably coming. I blasted through the Pacifist run in two days with some of my friends and we all shared in the ups and downs of the storyline, we laughed and we cried together at the turns it took and as I sat down the following weekend to begin my Genocide run, our hearts were heavy. I had grown an attachment to a few of the characters that was so powerful, when I ended their lives the second time around I was actually heartbroken. The first two were the worst. With the second one hurting so much that I had to take a step outside to recollect my thoughts.
The reason I’m bringing all of this up is not to become one of the drooling members of the Undertale fan base, but rather to talk about the impact of a good story. The game focuses on a few different themes, those being hope, despair, love, hate and determination. I was originally going to publish this blog post last week but with the events that had occurred I had to pause and place it with something else, and this post will hit on some of those contents.
In this life every person has the choice to love or to hate. Both avenues can lead us to the end of our journey, but we will get there dramatically different ways. Love will lead us through, we will have more resistance, but in the end our journey will complete in the best way. With close friends and loving family, we will be reunited with all of the people or the things that we missed and in the end, it will eventually be okay. Hate will take you on a path that seems easier, but one day when you don’t recognize it, you will need help. You will need friends and you won’t have any because you have been so free to hate on the things in your life that may be different or hard to understand. Both of these choices lead to hope and to despair.
I used to hate. Openly and without care for who or what I hurt along the way. Until one day I woke up and realized something, despite the fact that I was lucky and had friends and family who would never give up on me, I knew that if I continued on the path that I was heading through that I would distance myself to a point where they couldn’t truly help if they wanted to. It brought despair. Hate will always bring despair, because all hate does is distance you from the things that you need. The things that complete you will be complete with someone else if you give in to that hate. It took me a long time to realize this, much longer than I would have liked.
When I love, I love because I have hope in the world. We constantly see all of these horrendous things occurring in ways that we wouldn’t dare dream of. When I love, I look through those terrible acts and remember the heroes. I remember the ways they gave everything they could and the ways that they reminded me what it means to be alive, to be human. We will fail, we will fail a lot but I promise you that love, in the end, is always worth it.
I say this, because there is a lot of hate in the world already. You can see it everywhere. People hate Donald Trump. They hate Gays. They hate ISIS. They hate Christians. They hate this, and that, and so on. I look at all of this and I have to take it in, because it’s the world I was born into.
I’m here to tell you, from the mouth of someone born into something that I can’t bear to be a part of…
Hate is not the answer.
Nothing will come of us if we continue to feed this beast that has grown in our society. Hate is a hunger that can never be satisfied. When you hate those around you, your soul will not rest until that hate has been justified. There is a reason for that hate that you can’t put a finger on. That hate manifests despair. I know, because I had spent a lot of time manifesting despair in the deep corners of my heart without ever realizing it. That’s the most dangerous thing. Sometimes you can hate someone for what they have done to you and you will never notice how much it changes you as a person. After a while, it grows and expands and moves on. That hate escapes and is replaced with another.
Love works the same way.
If you love, and you try every day to love more, you will. Love grows with other love around it. When you surround yourself with good people, when you are lucky enough to have friends or family like I have, you will quickly realize that the world around you isn’t full of monsters. It’s full of creatures much like yourself, with different faces and different bodies and different ideals and each of them are beautiful. This isn’t to say that we should allow everything they do to slide just because we love them. In fact it’s quite the opposite. When you truly love someone and you see them turning to something that will hurt them or others, it’s your job to stand up. To put a stop to it. To fight against all of the evils in this world.
That’s why I started this blog. I think, in a lot of ways that’s why I started writing again too. I know that it is my gift. It is something I have been blessed with and I intend to use it to the best of my ability. I’m going to use it for love.
I only hope that I can create something that has the same impact on you all that Undertale had on me.
I’ll end this lengthy blog post for this week by offering up something I’ve had to keep close to my heart these last few days.
Hate has never once solved a problem. Hate is not meant for you or I. We were born to love. We were born to fight. Stand up, and do whatever you can do to spread love to those in your life. That love will spread and it will grow and eventually you will have a field of flowers, capable of loving, no matter how broken they appear.