One thing we know about Riki is this – he’s kinder, smarter, more loyal, and more level-headed that probably most, or all of us, are. Thus it’s no surprise when he ultimately makes a good decision in episode five of Little Busters! Refrain after making a gut-decision that was less wise.
Rin has been offer the opportunity to be an exchange student, but turning to Riki for guidance, she goes along with his selfish desire to refuse the honor. However, Riki later makes things right by showing his girlfriend tough love and pushing the opposite stance.
Rin’s immediate response to the request was the same as Riki’s – she told her principal “no” immediately, though she was asked to take time and reconsider. While the episode strongly points out to the viewers that Rin has changed after making friends outside of the original Little Busters, she’s still shy at heart, and moving to a place where she has no friends is going to be a challenge. It’s going to make her very uncomfortable.
But Riki, too, will be uncomfortable. He’s afraid that Rin, whom he believes is not yet “in love” with him, will eventually find someone else. That added to the more immediate concern that just as soon as he started his relationship with Rin, the two will be pushed apart. It’s a painful predicament for our protagonist.
But the decision is good for both parties, despite the suffering they’ll endure. Rin will hopefully continue to grow – the group has faith that she will – and she’ll mature and become more and more her own person as she gains confidence in her ability to bond with others. Riki, meanwhile, will have to endure and become stronger while waiting. And it’s this perseverance he’ll develop through suffering that will help continue to mold Riki’s character:
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
– Romans 5:3-4
None like to suffer – and particularly in this day and age, it seems our goal in life is to be hedonists while avoiding suffering at all costs. But when we do so, we stand still. Like Rin before the baseball team, we’ll remain immature. For maturation requires movement, from a state before to a state after. We only need to have the faith to take the journey, which might me – and often is – painful.
Thankfully, the promise of better days and a better us can give us strength, especially when we have an end goal, like Riki does, or even better (much better), when we have Someone in whom we can eternally place our faith and hope.