It is very rare that I listen to the advice or moral given in games or other media or cultural sources, but I have been taking the words from a game character who, like Sephiroth, has been a kind of a make role model. That man was Hideo Kojima's creation, Solid Snake. It would be fair to say that at first Snake didn't appeal and I would have probably run from him had I seen him in the streets, but as I have gotten older, I have really grown to admire the character. He said something in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty that somehow seems to have gotten through to me.
In one of the later scenes, the other hero of the story, Raiden asks Snake who he is. Snake, being a lot older and probably a heck of a lot wiser, said to Raiden:
"Find something to believe in, and find it for yourself, and when you do, pass it on to the future."
Raiden was obviously confused about the statement at first and asked Snake what to believe in, to which Snake answers "That's your problem." This seemed to hit home with me and made me realise that it was what I needed to do and it has been my aim for the last few years. I have had to find something for myself and cling to it, break the habits of the past and move on towards a future.
The things I had found to believe in are not someone elses ideals or strategies on how they can make a situation work. I had to find out the hard way that the things I believe in are simple. Hope and the faith and strength in oneself. Nothing is a given and it would be naive and childish to think differently. We have not been put where we are for any divine purpose or to balance anything out. No one is born any better or worse off than anyone else and there is truth to the philosophy of there being no such thing as a free ride.
I worked from the age of 16 and I am thankful because it taught me the value of money and a job well done. Yet I see people who are my age and even older who haven't worked a day in their lives and are all too happy to suckle on the government teat. It is fair to say that there are a large number of people who are unemployed who are actually trying to get work. They get up off their backsides and they go knocking on doors or flick daily through newspapers and other places to find something to support themselves. I understand the reccession is on and it is getting worse, but I honestly think that the number of people who are not working because they frankly don't want to are contributing to the problem and I really hope this is something that is actually addressed.
As for faith and believing in oneself, well that is a matter that only an individual can decide on. I think in my case I was always good at seeing the value in other people and had long forgotten about one person, me. I was so busy admiring and cooing over everyone elses achievements in life and had forgotten what I had done and what I am truly capable of and how far I am willing to go to protect things like my home and my way of life. I have found my place to belong and I did it for myself and the people I met along the way have been so tolerant of me when I have been stuck in one of my moods and they have shared in the elation when everything has turned out in the end. I'm thankful to have these people and I never ever want to imagine a day when they're not there.
I guess the biggest thing that has come out of the last week or so has been the time to reflect on myself as a person and what is important to me. I have addressed feelings I thought I was successful in suppressing and achieved a balance that I had long forgotten that could exist. I realised what I wanted to pass on to the future generation is the courage to say "Yeah it's not easy right now, but it's all a test to show you what you are truly capable of".
5 years ago