“If we work together, we can save this world!”
– Lana, Hyrule Warriors
In the game of Hyrule Warriors, this is really just a throwaway line. You know, the sort of things that they just have the characters randomly say that shows what sort of person they are and keeps things from getting dull as the player fights furiously to fulfill all the game’s objectives. And, true to form, this just shows how sweet and hopeful Lana is. Yet, there is something about this line which has been lingering with me of late.
If we work together, we can save this world.
I mean… it’s so simple, isn’t it? And yet, despite how trite and idealistic it might seem, is there anything more obviously true?
Each of us is only one person, and each one of us is practically alone, lost in the massive currents of the world, the flowing of billions of people in any given direction. The power to control that flow, and everyone in it, has been the dream of many a tyrant. It would be a most intoxicating drug, wouldn’t it? To pull a string here, and the faceless horde responds. To beat a drum there, and the rabble marches in lockstep. Alas for such ambitions, humans are willful creatures, even when we’ve been beaten down for generations. It’s simply impossible for one power to control us all. And thus the age-old tactic: divide and conquer.
We are divided by race, by religion, by class, by gender, by nationality, by ethnicity, by location, by circumstance, by city vs country, by ability, by interest, by ancestry, by family… every possible distinction is set within a box, and as we are boxed in, we are torn apart and set on each other. The amount of suffering this has inflicted and increased is entirely without limit.
It weighs on us, on our very souls, and we cry out for salvation. Please, we plead, someone come, someone save us all!
But the salvation we crave might well be more within our reach than most of us ever realized.
It’s within our own hands and the hands of our neighbor who is different from us. We see the world differently, and if we gave up on trying to be right, who knows how much we would learn? If we stopped staying within our boxes, and tore down the barriers the divide us, how much would we accomplish? If we stopped squabbling, stopped hating, and started loving instead, would not the world be saved, right then and there? Would war not end? Would the hungry not be fed? Would not every tyrant in the world be powerless against the combined flow of all humanity?
The greatest tragedy of human history may well be nothing more than our failure to work together, to love each other, no matter our differences, as we love ourselves.
On the other hand… this simple solution may also be our greatest hope.
To save the world, all we have to do is work together.
To love each other. To forgive each other. To accept that we are all the same, and we are all in this together.