With elections around the corner, fear, hatred, bitterness, and deception have again reared their ugly heads on the public stage. Who can we look to in order to support values we can believe in? I say if the candidate isn’t preaching what Goku and his friends taught us, then they’re not worth listening to.
- There is always more strength within you. No matter how beaten, bruised, bloodied…you can always dig deeper within you to overcome what faces you. That is life. Truly, we have two choices, die or overcome. Ultimately so many relegate themselves to death. It is not always a physical death in which things end for them on earth, but a mental, emotional, spiritual death in which the things that make them human wink out. Goku taught us that only we have the power to choose not to be a shell of ourselves. When you are lying on the ground looking at the feet of the enemies in life that would see you defeated, grit your teeth, ball your hands into fists, and find the power within you to rise up against the things that would see you and your dreams crushed and ended. Vote for a candidate that encourages you dig deep and become the best version of yourself.
- No matter how strong you are, you need family and friends to back you up, inspire you, and remind you what’s important. So many times in Dragon Ball Z it is the supporting characters, not the main characters that act in such a way to bring about victory. Against Frieza, it was Krillin’s desperate cry for help that pushed Goku over the edge and ultimately pushed him to become a Super Saiyan. Against cell, it is android 16’s words that help Gohan release his power, Goku’s coaching that force all of his energy into his attack, and Vegeta’s blow that distracted Cell so that he could be overcome. Against Majin Buu, the Namekian dragon balls restore Goku’s strength so that he could overcome the monster. In life, pour into the people who back you up. In your time of deepest need, they will return the favor. And when you need to revisit lesson 1, often times it is your loved ones that help you find the strength within you to keep moving forward. Vote for a candidate that exemplifies the spirit of working together.
- Death is not the end. How you live your life will leave a legacy long after you are no longer on the earth. Whether the afterlife is an eternal training ground or countless choirs singing Hallelujah, or nothing at all, your actions while you are still breathing will change the world. Decide if the world will be a better or worse place because you were in it. Despite most of its citizens being in the dark about it, Goku saved the earth on multiple occasions and because of his actions the whole universe revered the life of him and his family. Vote for a candidate that looks to impact the future further out than their own short life.
- Humility, selflessness, and having fun are the shortcut values that lead to a full life, and just because these are your defining traits does not mean you cant be a fierce warrior. If you constantly recognize the need to improve yourself, give your all for others, and have fun doing it then you will never stagnate, never be an island, and you will never take anything too seriously. Vote for a candidate who humbly has fun at no one else’s expense.
- Money, fame, fortune, materialism are literally valueless in an unfeeling universe. Nothing that matters in Dragon Ball Z is the stuff that so many around are striving for. In fact, the Z fighters could care less what they accumulate. They are focused on their training, their relationships with each other, and facing the things that threaten their world. They are never compensated for how they defend the world. They are never recognized for their sacrifices. But they train on. They keep sacrificing. And they do it for each other. And they do it for themselves. Vote for a candidate that doesn’t spend time or energy accumulating material things.
The list is short and sweet, but so is the deep message of Dragon Ball Z. Work hard in your community to find the power within you and others while creating a legacy that can overcome the struggles that the universe puts at our feet—do this without getting distracted by the things that don’t really matter. Vote for a candidate that jives with that and we’ll be ready for the next Cell or Frieza or Majin Buu. In the meantime though, lets simply settle on defining which of the leaders vying for our support will help us be better; Dragon Ball Z style.