Monday, 11 April 2016

Why I inspire to be like Luffy

This is a post I have really thought about and have edited considerably given the nature of the topic I'm about to discuss. The man I idolize is from a fictional world, but can his aspirations be a conduit for 'Wimpy Asians' like me to succeed in life? What does Luffy (loo-fi), the future Pirate King do so differently that makes me want to be like him? I don't want to delve into a deep psychoanalysis of my self or anything, but I think that the titular character from the show, 'One Piece' is just not another hero figure, but I think there is something more heartfelt about the character's story.

The most important thing that makes me feel that he is different from the stereotypical heroes from cartoons and all that is the fact that he doesn't say much. Luffy is probably the only character in the show, if you think about it carefully, isn't really known for being smart. He barely has any common sense, and unsurprisingly being a pirate he lacks manners, which is from the fact that his guardian had left him to be brought up by a pack of thieves in the middle of a forest! Apart from that, Luffy has had no formal education, and the fact he understands what he does is kind of surprising to say the least. But his unique quality springs from his simple but very relatable quotes in context of the moment. To be honest, the most amazing thing about this protagonist is the fact that his actions literally speak louder than words in the sense that although being the main character of this vastly expansive world 'One Piece' is set in and thus may not get enough "screen time" due to the many subplots that into the overall story arc, his impact on the story is widely received with awe as his actions are somewhat unpredictable.

Even Luffy (as awesome as he his) had a role model who initially sparked his interest in becoming a pirate, the warmhearted 'Shanks'. When this pirate was visiting Luffy's hometown when he was young, the boy had interacted with Shanks and became quick friends with the humble person that he is. One day, a bandit had entered the pub that the captain's crew had usually had sake (japanese beer) in and made a fool out of the kindhearted pirate by spilling sake and embarrassing him in front of his crew without knowing that the bandit was infinitely inferior to that of Shank's crew. The bandit soon left, and the captain and his crew laughed it off which had left Luffy enraged that Shank's did not fight back. Shank's simply replied "he just spilt a little sake". This led to Luffy confronting the leader of the bandit to protect Shank's honor at a later time, who kidnapped the little boy to drown him in front of the whole town to see. The reason I am saying all of this is because of the quote that had inspired Luffy to become a man like Shanks when Shanks had confronted the bandit, "You can spill drinks on me, even spit on me. I'll just laugh about it. But If you dare to hurt my friends... I WON'T FORGIVE YOU!". From that moment on Luffy had learnt what it means to be a man, to protect your friends and their honor rather than your own.

One of the many anecdotes from the manga would give you an idea about the type of person Luffy aspires to be, but in the end the author also highlights the fact that Luffy is a pirate, and thus being a hero is not his 'piece of cake'. No matter how dumb the meat loving pirate is, he will always have a special place in my heart as the anime had really instigated my own downfalls when it had come to friendships and all that, when I realized that I had not become friends with the right people at school; people who genuinely might have not wanted the best for me.

Quintessentially the main thing I wanted to say was that Luffy is a person who does what he loves, and loves the way he does it. That may sound very stupid, but from all the real world people like linguists who are congratulated like my friend who idolizes 'Noam Chomsky' or another more cynical friend who actually praises Donald Trumps best moments, these are the people I don't really see taking the world by storm. People like these... they are but words and no action, no matter how much dilly-dallying one does will not justify a certain politicians rude and consistently inconsistent statements. A man like Luffy may not exist in our universe, I do understand that, but the basic spirit of a man's dreams will always be the same - same fiction or non-fiction. All these politicians, journalists, lawyers and even what I could become - an economist - just talk (a lot). In my mind, real people just go and change the world without hesitating, something I wish I can do.

I am not undermining the use of language to make a difference, but in my perspective I have learnt a lot about life lessons and unwavering conviction from a man who is possibly 'below average' in a fictional world than I have from people in the real world. Our world breeds contempt, hatred and jealousy but in a manga for kids I have understood about loss, pain, and sorrow than I ever would from a real life story. The story of a 19-year old teenager who knew no better is probably the best story I have ever read and am forever grateful to have stumbled upon it. In my earlier post I had mentioned about becoming Pirate King as my dream, and no matter how stupid it may sound, it seems possible week by week as the story progresses because at the end of the day your idol is supposed to make you feel like you can do anything. And if Luffy can become Pirate King, then so can I!

-->Please excuse grammatical errors and mistakes, I stayed up at 3 AM to write this even though my university assignment deadline is only a very few days away which should be spent more productively! But as always, please do leave a comment on what you think about whatever I rambled on about and share this article if you liked it. Also, please follow my blog if you would like more!


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