“Brother my brother
– from “Brother My Brother,” by Blessid Union of Souls
From Pokemon: The First Movie
I could – and almost did – just copy and paste the lyrics for this entire song and call it a day. This is the refrain.
The first Pokemon movie came out back when I was a teenager, and, if I recall correctly, it may well have been my very first solo outing to the theater ever. Certainly it was the first time that a movie’s theme, the meaning of it, hit my young, tender heart so hard. I won’t ever forget that moment, that feeling I had as this song was playing. It was a heartfelt plea to all of us, that we look more at what’s the same instead of what’s different between us, that we stop fighting and inflicting so much pointless, unending suffering on one another.
I have been struck again and again in my life by how easily we humans fight each other, and how stubbornly we cling to conflicts and grudges. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy good action in most any story, and I understand that violence is sometimes necessary, if also gruesome, and I especially appreciate the testing of our ideas and perspectives against each other as we strive to seek out what is true. But, Heaven have mercy on us all, we seem to be quite a hopeless bunch, don’t we?
Ethnic warfare, racial strife, family feuds, ancestral hostilities that have long since outlived their origin, it’s all a sad, ridiculous, tragic waste of life and joy and everything good. What use is there in hating each other over nothing but the most superficial differences between us? Yet generation after generation fails to forgive and build peace on common ground.
Speaking more personally, I think many of us in the world today have experienced the souring and severing of friendships over political rhetoric and clashing ideologies. Not so long ago, it seems, people were able to maintain civil and lasting friendships even when they disagreed vociferously, and come together in tolerant peace after even the most terrible conflicts between them. But now? Nowadays, we seem to pounce on even the slightest differences and tear each other apart, never forgiving or forgetting, even when we know we have a huge swathe of commonalities. Even when we have been close friends, we let discord destroy our most sacred bonds.
I have had some personal experience in that, when one of my dearest friends turned against me and against all we once held dear together. It still hurts, even years later.
This war of words and ideas, where far too many of us are unwilling to listen, or give an inch, or change, or forgive, or seek forgiveness… it’s not doing us any good! We have to stop attacking each other! We have to stop it! We have to stop and listen and learn to love each other more than we love being right on any given subject. We have to remember that most of us are ultimately all on the same side, which makes are fighting as pointless as can be.
We have to remember that we are brothers and sisters, not enemies.