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Self Control

In Love Live, there are a lot of different groups, and one of the interesting things is that each one has their own character to their lyrics and songs.  The three main groups – mu’s, Aquors, and Liella, tend to write happy, cheerful songs that are supposed to be like, well, pop songs I guess.  but they’re not the only group, and the groups like Arise and Saint Snow have different lyrics, and they tend to be far more success and goal oriented.

“Self Control”, for example.

One lyric that got to me since I understood what it meant was in the chorus of “Self Control”

You know a weak heart is no good at all

 One of the things that seems to define our modern culture, more than anything else, is a lack of self control.  Somehow people have gotten the message that anything they want to do, they can do, and any kind of self-control at all is a bad thing.  You’re told to accept yourself the way you are, that you’re just fine the way you are, that you can do anything you want and anyone who tries to stop you is oppressive.

That’s a lie.

That’s a huge lie.

That’s the biggest lie.

The thing is, dreams and a lack of self control are mutually exclusive.  You can’t find your dreams if you can’t control yourself.

And that’s kind of what they’re saying, in context.

I want them to call us the best – this is real, we gotta go!

A dream is a dream, but it’s not easy to reach it.
We’re aiming for something special, aren’t we?
Since that’s why we’re doing this, I won’t cry.
Who’s the enemy? It’s my powerless self’s shadow.

You know, don’t you?
You know a weak heart is no good at all. (My shadow… No good at all!)
Let’s feel it out, get a grip on the place we stand at right now.

But self-control?  Who wants self-control?  Let’s just do whatever we want!

Now as someone who struggles with some mental stuff, this isn’t easy.  In fact, it’s downright hard.  Sometimes it feels impossible.  It’s not like I’ve progressed as little in Japanese as I have over the last few years because that’s what I wanted to.  In fact, the fact that I’ve progressed as much as I have (I passed an N5 practice test) seems like a miracle in itself.  Because every time I try to accomplish something, every time I try to find my dreams, I stand in my own way.  I block myself, I sabotage myself, I get so depressed some days I can barely stand it and all I can do it lay in bed and watch anime or play sudoku.  But I always seem, somehow, to brush myself off and get back to it.  It might even take months, but I do it eventually.

But I’m not just talking about dreams.  I’m talking about basic human stuff, too.

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do something, and doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

There’s a drive now to call everyone that opposes something you want to do, “phobic”.  It’s clearly a misuse of the word, but setting that aside, it’s one of those thought-stopping words that just serves to shut people down.  When, the fact is, while many people who are “phobic” may not be very good at expressing what they want to express in a caring way, that doesn’t mean what they have to say has no merit at all.

People who are “homophobic” might actually be awful and hateful.  They also might recognize that one of the two purposes of sex is reproduction, and that kind of thing tends to thwart that particular purposes, and all you’re left with is the social purpose, which is of little use biologically.  You might be okay with that.  But you are sacrificing one thing for another, and trying to get around that only leads to problems.  Like, for example, adopting children.

People who are “transphobic” might actually be awful and hateful.  They might also see something you don’t, that there’s an underlying issue that won’t be solved by ignoring biological reality.  Again, you might be okay with that, but whichever way you go, you’re going to be sacrificing something.  It’s kind of heartbreaking to see people who think they’re following their dream, and they take their steps to accomplish it, and realize once they’re where they think they wanted to be…  it was all a mirage after all.

People who are “fat-phobic” might actually be awful and hateful.  They might also recognize that being fat is not good for you and they actually want the best for you, even when you’ve given up.

I could go on… and I shouldn’t.  But the point is, that self-control is something that people these days think is a bad thing, when achieving your dreams – even dreams you don’t know you have yet – will only happen if you give some things up.  You can’t have everything, and you have to make choices.  Are you going to choose whether to follow your dreams?  Or, even more basic, just not give up on your dreams?  Or are you going to give in to your weak heart?

I love the message of Love Live – sometimes, anyway.  It’s about following your dreams.  Sometimes your dreams die.  I mean, even if I wanted to be a teenage female Japanese idol, I couldn’t.  It wouldn’t be possible in any meaningful way (that’s not my dream, but the point is, even if it were, I couldn’t).  But sometimes your dreams are achievable, even if they don’t seem like they are.  But you have to have self-control.  You have to give some things up.  And sometimes you have to listen to other people who are trying to tell you why what you’re doing will only lead to ruin.

They might know something you don’t.

I actually have a very difficult time with that, personally.  It’s not that I think they’re wrong.  It’s that I think they don’t understand me, and understand why what they’re advising me to do is difficult, if not impossible.  But it doesn’t make them wrong.  And maybe I could do with some self control.  If I can manage to scrounge some up, somewhere.

This is one of those posts where I’m glad people don’t read this blog.

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