I am the first to admit that I am very guilty of hiding behind my childhood favourites when I feel like life is getting on top of me, or just to enjoy a simple window of complete innocence. Now this normally meant I would watch endless Disney movies or even watch theory videos on Youtube of old cartoons I watched.
One thing I didn’t expect was for a childhood favourite to still hold so much significance even now. I didn’t expect a cartoon to be able to change my thinking as an adult.
As a kid I can say my favourite tv show was most likely Dragonball z, to this day I have no idea why, I just remember putting it on one day and never really going back. It was a good show in that it allowed me to share a mutual interest in something with my brother, who is a good 4 and a half years older than me. Yes I was the obsessive kind of kid which meant when I liked something I either went in whole heartedly or not at all with things. To this day I remember waiting eagerly in class for the clock to move quicker so that I could get home and watch the new series that was about to start on Cartoon Network.
Ok so how did this tv show that I watched as a kid, so at least 15 years ago, change my life now?
Well tbh I have always had a soft spot for this since I first watched it, kind of like how I still get every new Pokemon game – it’s fun, nostalgic and just genuinely enjoyable to remember. While looking about Amazon last year I came across the first book of the original manga (well the English dub at least) and got curious. Long story short I ended up buying it to see what the real story was and through that I heard about a series of books by Derek Padula called Dragon Culture. In these books he looked into not only Dragonball and it’s creator but all the influences from both East and West.
Omg I absolutely adored these books! I loved getting to fully look into something I loved so much as a kid and to find out not only about the story and all it’s meanings that can sometimes get lost in translation but it’s creator and how someone who is basically a major introvert can somehow become one of the most famous people in Japan and create a legacy of his own.
By looking into the background of this I got to learn about the traditional Eastern way of thinking. I got to get a bit more information about the likes of Buddhism and I loved what was involved. It opened my eyes to a much more relaxed way of thinking and living. The idea of leaving your “ties” behind. Now in the traditional stories that were mentioned throughout this had a lot to do with the likes of monks cutting all ties to family, friends and their old life to create a new one that they dedicate to their craft. Of course this isn’t as practical nowadays but this has allowed me to think more openly about what my “ties” are and what are my unnecessary ones that I can afford to get rid of.
Seeing this incredible series through an adults eyes has made me see the characters entirely different. Everyone should live life like Goku does. He truly enjoys every moment, never overthinks anything and truly believes in his own abilities.
Now I would happily recommend this to anyone because it really helped me become aware of my own thinking and how negative it can be. However I feel this worked at it’s best because the subject matter was something I truly cared about and understood. If you are a Dragonball fan then go right ahead, if not then I would say try to find books or articles or anything to do with the way of thinking around things such as Buddhism or even try getting into martial arts because from what I gather, martial arts are a good way to focus your mind.
Anyone who wants to check them out click here. This is in no way sponsored I just truly got so much out of reading these books. I felt so much calmer and relaxed while I made my way through them, learning things I would never have thought to read about otherwise.