My son has recently gotten on board with the Pokemon craze that many of us parents so desperately try to avoid. It’s costly and annoying and the effect it has on children borders on an addiction.
Still though, I find myself strangely compelled by it myself as I found myself having a lot of questions about it. The answers, I’ve discovered, are really quite inspiring.
In the cartoon world, Pokemon are essentially the animals of the planet. Water, fire, plants, bugs, sky… you name it. Where we have living creatures on Earth, there are living Pokemon in their universe.
Pikachu is one such creature… he’s a cute little mouse like Pokemon that is an electric type, meaning that he can create thunderbolts and other such electrical attacks.
In the cartoon, trainers capture these Pokemon and train them to do battle. The Pokemon battle each other but are all generally very friendly. They battle, one wins, one loses… they celebrate after and go on their way.
What makes Pikachu the special one?
Well, to start with… Pikachu isn’t very powerful. In fact, there’s another Pokemon called Raichu that is actually an “evolved” version of Pikachu… a level up, if you will. And even Raichu is not very strong compared to many others.
In fact, there are some Pokemon that are believed to have created life, the universe and the rest of the other Pokemon. Some of them are deities over dimensions such as space and time.
So why does Pikachu get all of the attention? Well, he has one quality that the rest of the Pokemon do not have… a never quit heart the size of the moon.
Repeatedly in the cartoon and especially in the movies, you really get a sense of just how tenacious Pikachu really is… how he really would do anything for his trainer, for all people and for all living creatures. Over and over again, there are situations where all hope seems lost and this little mouse like creature just never gives up.
In one movie, Pokemon were pit against each other… not just to battle for the sport of it, but to hurt each other… and this one lone Pikachu refused to fight. He took hit after hit…. never once attacking back.
The truly amazing thing, once you get into the series, is seeing how this brave little guy with such a big heart influences his trainer… Ash. Ash is an egotistical little kid who thinks he’s the best… who thinks he can do no wrong… can never lose… and as the series goes on, you can see him become the human equivalent of Pikachu… a very brave, very determined, a very modest boy with an over sized heat.
Wait, so what does all of this have to do with Autism?
Well, first of all, did you know that Pokemon was created by a man with Aspergers?
On top of that, I can’t help but feel a connection somehow… when I picture this modestly little, somewhat weak Pokemon besting some much stronger adversaries, becoming the most loved out of all of them, all around the world…. being a source of inspiration and wisdom for the one that is supposed to be training him…. I see a bit of that in my son.
My son might not be the strongest, fastest or smartest in the world… in fact, he might have a lot going against him, what many would see as weaknesses, but I know that he can over come any adversary or beat all odds so long as he never gives up and keeps his heart full of love.
My son isn’t Pikachu and I’m not his trainer, but he is my source of inspiration and wisdom… he is the one that has shown me how to be a much better person by being more like him.