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What is Purity?
freedom from adulteration or contamination.
“the purity of our drinking water”
synonyms: cleanness, clearness, clarity, freshness;
freedom from immorality, especially of a sexual nature.
Goku’s purity is pretty undeniable if you’re a fan of the Dragonball, Dragonball Z, or even Dragonball Super. He’s oblivious to almost all selfish urges, and his childlike innocence is a hallmark of his character. He’s demonstrates this well into adulthood, giving even his most evil foes a chance at redemption before their end. Frequently, in fact, his enemies end up inflicting their own demise, rather than being destroyed by his hand.
This purity makes for an endearing, if sometimes frustrating character. It also enables Goku to ride the Flying Nimbus, and perform maneuvers like the Spirit Bomb. Now, purity to the point of oblivious innocence is probably not something we’d want to emulate in our daily lives, however bringing light and joy into our hearts and psyche is not a wasted effort. Let’s take a look at some lessons we can take from Goku.
The Merciful Saiyan
Goku is an anomaly to his race (at least, by the measure of all the Saiyans we’ve seen and interacted with in the show.) Saiyans are shown to be ruthless, violent, and above all, merciless. Goku, on the other hand, shows mercy almost to the point of it being a flaw. Time and time again, with Vegeta, Frieza, and even Buu, he gives his opponent a chance to repent their wrongdoings, and find the better path. In some cases, he even gives his defeated foes some of his energy.
Now, of course, these one-dimensional “bad guys” always turn down his offer of a better life, and often throw it right back in his face. In the real world, however, sometimes showing someone a better path, and giving them a chance to walk it, can pay off. Now, I’m not advocating you just give free license to people to hurt you and have there be no consequences. However, realizing that someone has messed up bad, but there’s a chance for them to repent, and then giving them that option can lead to some remarkable shifts of character (even if it’s not an instantaneous thing.)
The “show them a better path” option is important here, by the way. Telling someone, “Be a better person,” is not nearly as useful as demonstrating what a good and virtuous life looks like, and the rewards you can reap from it.
Goku may be pure, but he’s also incredibly competitive. His one main, driving desire is to become stronger, by fighting and testing himself against other strong beings. In my mind, this is actually part of what fuels his mercy. When he meets opponents tough enough to genuinely challenge him in battle, he often wants them to become stronger, so they can challenge him again (we see this with the likes of Tien, Vegeta, and Hit.)
Competition is an awesome driving force, and although it’s typically inborn in people, you may have a competitive nature and not even know it. One of my adult karate students actually didn’t realize his own competitive nature until he lost in his first tournament. The fact that he fought pretty well and still lost only fueled his fire, because he had a tiny taste of success.
Don’t think that being pure just means “being a nice mush to everyone.” Goku’s rivalries are fierce, and if you’re lucky enough to know an equally competitive person who enjoys such a thing, you can drive each other further than you could ever get on your own motivation.
Lack of Desire
Like I said, Goku’s main desire in life is to grow stronger, and test himself. Another big desire of his is to protect his loved ones, and save them from harm if he can. Goku also really, really enjoys eating (but I attribute this mostly to his absolutely absurd Saiyan metabolism.) Besides these three, Goku doesn’t really have any major desires in life, and this keeps him comfortable in almost any given situation. This simplicity and purity leads to a sense of content and well-being that radiates outward from his character.
Now, I’m not suggesting you cut all earthly desires and go live in a cave or something! However, examining the things you desire, and removing some of the more negative ones from your life can definitely lead to an inner peace and contentedness that you just might love. The fact is, we spend hundreds or even thousands of hours of our lives in the modern world being bombarded by advertisements, marketing, and orders to CONSUME at all costs.
Maybe it might be time to take an inventory and discover what you truly desire in life. Working towards one or two goals at a time, rather than twenty, can give you much greater odds of success. It will also seriously decrease your stress levels (which, as we already know, can help trigger our own Zenkai boost.)
That’s it for Goku! I hope you enjoyed our time with him (I know I sure did.) I’ll see you again on Monday with a new post! Until then, as always, remember to live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!