On Christmas many, many years ago, I received a PlayStation 2 and two games. The first was Final Fantasy X, the other quickly became a favorite game, and eventually a favorite series: Kingdom Hearts. More than just a game, Kingdom Hearts teaches valuable lessons I cannot wait to teach my daughter when she grows older. These are just some of the lessons of Kingdom Hearts I learned while playing through the series.
Never Be Afraid Of The Dark (Kingdom Hearts)
The Darkness is an ever-present threat in the first game in the series. It lingers everywhere, threatening to consume you. You have to be strong enough to overcome it each and every time. Just as Sora must, so must we. It’s important to persevere, despite any and all odds. The Darkness is the unknown. It is scary, but we have to face it down each and every day if we are to make ourselves better, stronger, and smarter. Sometimes, we may not have a giant key to help us through, but we can still do it. Just without the giant key. Which is kind of a bummer, really. That key is awesome.
Journeys Aren’t Always Easy, But They’re Rarely Not Rewarding (Kingdom Hearts)
We could easily pass up the opportunity to take a journey into the unknown. Sora could have just stayed in Traverse Town that very first day, ignoring everything from talking dogs and ducks to that ninja and the dude with the giant gun that was also a sword. He could have picked himself up and just accepted what happened. However, he didn’t, and he became a better person for it. We often have the choice to make: take a new journey or stay where we are. We can accept or we can fight back. We can make a new life for ourselves or we can just accept what life gives us. Sure, it’s tough and sometimes you don’t get rewarded immediately, but eventually, there will be a benefit.
Friends Will Always Be There (Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts II)
Sora lost his two best friends. He made many more, but the two most important people in his life, he continued to fight for them, hoping to find them. Even after one betrays him, he doesn’t give up and he makes his way through everything to find them. And they ultimately trust him and have his back. Even if you and your friends have a disagreement, ultimately, nothing is worth losing an important person over. Have faith in them and remain loyal to each other. You won’t regret having those closest to you in your corner.
Memories Are Too Important To Lose (Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories)
In Chain of Memories (Re:Chain of Memories for those of you who never played it on the Game Boy Advance), Sora slowly loses his memories thanks to a witch who can manipulate them. However, Sora’s heart is strong enough to keep the important things with him and he eventually defeats those that would use him to further their own ends. The memories you have are precious. Good or bad, they provide you the experiences that make you who you are. Without them, you simply are not… you. They define you and your actions, and determine your decisions as you make your way through life. It is far more advantageous for you to accept them, rather than hide them in shame or fear.
There Is More To Life Than Anger or Rage (Kingdom Hearts II)
“I need more rage,” Xemnas says, right before the end of Kingdom Hearts II. “I need more hearts.” Sora, in a final plea for Xemnas to end his plans, asks if he remembers that there is more to a heart than rage. “Unfortunately,” Xemnas replies, “I don’t.” Many people in the world live for outrage. They dedicate themselves to waiting for the right moment to be angered at something. This is ultimately so unhealthy for you. Live for happiness and joy, but responsibly. Live to know the good things. There will be bad times, sure, but the good will always outweigh it. Live for those moments. Not the bad ones.
There are plenty more lessons to be learned from the series, and if you have your own lessons, we’d love to hear about them in the comments. For more Kingdom Hearts, check out our review of the HD 1.5 Remix!