I had an argument with my wife recently where we really let it loose, where neither of us controlled ourselves. The stress of a tough month got to us, and we said everything on our minds and things that weren’t. Worst of all is that our kids were witness to it. Thankfully, we resolved things and spoke to our children, who were far more understanding and kinder to us than we expected, than we deserved.
Sometimes as parents, no matter how hard you try or how much love you have, you mess up. You mess up even worse, though—and I’ve done this many times in the past—when you hide behind you so-called maturity, your wisdom, your standing as an adult, and fail to realize that sometimes being an adult doesn’t mean you know better, and that it’s the heart of a child that’s needed instead.
This idea is on full display in episode 11 of Kino’s Journey, my favorite of the series so far. Kino and Hermes fall down in a field of red flowers, where our lead character reminisces about her childhood, one that isn’t very happy. It turns how that her nation is full citizens who do some sort of surgery to their children when they turn twelve to turn make them into hard-working (but crazy) adults. Young Kino—though this wasn’t her name at the time—has her eyes opened by a traveler, the original Kino, and when she rebels, he saves our young hero, sacrificing himself when the girl’s parents try to kill her for disobeying the nation’s rules.
Kino’s (the original man) death is striking. Yes, he’s a likeable character, but it’s moving because his death is quick and without fanfare. No final words of encouragement for the girl he saves. No last rites. Just a sudden death once he made the decision to help a girl he barely knew, a stranger, and a quick escape aboard the just-awakened Hermes.
I was reminded of those that have “saved” me in my life. I’ve never been saved from the brink of physical death, but I have been saved in other ways, ways that are just as real and just as significant in my eyes. And I wonder if I’ve been able to be the same kind of person for others, someone like the original Kino, someone whose name is worth carrying forward.
This week’s question (questions, actually), then, is more personal, but maybe requires even more thought than usual—I know it did for me:
Have you ever saved someone? Has someone ever saved you?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And be sure to catch Kino’s Journey on Crunchyroll.