Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu! Happy New Year!
I’ve never been one for resolutions, but lately a line from one of my favourite films has me thinking. The film is Hayao Miyazaki’s “Princess Mononoke” (or Mononoke Hime), in which Ashitaka responds to a question with; “To see with eyes unclouded by hate.” For some reason this line has stayed with me since the first time I heard it and for the past few months, has been playing in my mind like a catchy tune. To see with eyes unclouded [by hate] would be difficult for anyone, but I think these are words to live by. I definitely prefer them to “don’t let it get to you” and similar sayings that only seem to make the problem worse. Anyone who is familiar with Miyazaki films is probably aware of the calming and even enlightening effect they have on people, so it should come as no surprise that the aforementioned line could be useful to us all in our daily lives. I don’t know why these words pop into my head on occasion, but I’m glad they do. I’ll admit, I am prone to anger and sometimes I need to rant, but these words have become so helpful to me. I try to understand all sides before drawing conclusions, which is sort of how I interpret the line. To look at things without bias and remain somewhat neutral. As I said, this would be hard for everyone, it’s even hard for Ashitaka at times, but the importance remains with him. He knows that if rash emotions take over, they will destroy him. I suppose a lot of people wouldn’t look at the parallels between an animated action fantasy and real life, but those people would be [quite frankly] looking at it with clouded eyes.
Ashitaka’s injury is caused by hate // Hate and other negative emotions hurt us.
He winds up on a journey to not only find out what happened to the boar whose hate has spread to him, but to bring some kind of peace and balance back to the place it stems from. He’s the type of person who tries to get along with everyone, and everyone doesn’t like it much. They want him to choose a side and he refuses. To me, Ashitaka is one of the most admirable characters ever written. Yes, he’s a fictional anime character, but I think everyone should strive to be something like him. Even though the world tests our patience most of the time.
So I guess my resolution for this year and all the years to come is simply to apply these words in my daily life. More than I already do, anyway. It could be a useful trick to clear my mind and think rationally. We’ll see!