For such a fantastical story, Clannad has surely taught me a lot about real life. It’s emphasize to me the need to be selfless, faithful, and obedient.
And today, again, I thought about the anime when I was home with my family. I had put the children to bed after a tough day, one in which I was harder with my children than I should been. I immediately regretted how mean my words had been to them, as I was short on patience and self-control.
That reminded me of Tumblr, where many of those who follow me seem to think I’m a great father. Someone sent me a message saying I was a “cool dad.” I wanted to say, “No! You’ve got it all wrong! I want to be a good dad, but I fail time and time again – too many times to count!”
Luckily, my children are so much more innocent, loving, and kind than I am. Often when I lose my temper and admonish them, I’ll go back later and apologize, telling them that I shouldn’t have been so harsh. And without fail, the vocal response I get back is this:
I forgive you.
There are perhaps no stronger words in our language than these, with denote mercy and love. It’s a kind of love that’s difficult for most to give, though in children, we find the opposite to be true. In Clannad, Ushio pushes aside years of neglect and general grumpiness directed toward her to shower her full love upon Tomoya, in effect offering forgiveness to her father both readily and continually. She doesn’t even need to think about forgiving – it just is. Tomoya is her dad, and she loves him no matter what.
Jesus tells us that we, too, should be like children:
And [Jesus] said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.’
– Matthew 18: 2-5
It takes humility to forgive someone. As a child realizes he or she is not above a mom or dad, we, too, must realize that we are no better than our neighbors, and certainly no better than a God who models forgiveness for us and grace through the cross.
As we come into this holiday season, there’s no better time of year to forgive those who’ve hurt us, even those who have created long-lingering wounds in our hearts. Like Ushio, we can restore relationships by having the heart of child – the heart that God adores.
8 thoughts on “More Lessons from Clannad: Be Like Ushio”
That reminds me of something about anime. I think that I have only heard “yurusu” (to forgive) used positively five times in all the anime I’ve watched. I remember the first time I heard it in Hanbun no Tsuki ga Sora ni Noboru. (That’s a mouthful!) It pretty much blew my mind. I suppose it shows the Japanese tendency not to be very forgiving.
Interesting…I don’t pick up well on the language, so I’m glad you brought that up – I would never have caught it myself
having the heart of a child is one of the most wonderful teachings of Jesus. Children will love no matter how hard adults are to them. they are so innocent and pure it makes me cry.
There are a lot of things my parents did that I want to carry over into the family I may have one day. One is their willingness to come and ask our forgiveness when they made a mistake. Mom sometimes sat on my bed and apologized for her tone of voice, for lack of clear communication and boundaries, for responding in anger, or whatever – often something I hadn’t noticed or had already forgotten. But, while I forgot the offense, I did not forget Mom’s humility, her ability to come ask my forgiveness even if I was one who messed up first. I knew my parents weren’t perfect, but I also knew that they knew it. Because of that, they set up a great model for me about love, apologies, honesty and forgiveness. It sounds to me like you’re doing the same thing(:
I realize that wasn’t the main point of this post, and I enjoyed reading the rest of it, too. Great post… left me wondering, once again, why I haven’t got around to watching Clannad yet.
Thank you for the comments – it’s really nice to hear them. I hope my daughter thinks the same of me as I try to humble, even if it’s sometimes hard!
And yes, you should absolutely watch Clannad! With how many series I know you’ve seen, I’m surprised this isn’t one of them!
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