Right now, I’m counseling two dear friends who are having troubles in their dating relationship. It’s a bit overwhelming and something I’m hesitant and careful about because I don’t see myself as some harbinger of relationship wisdom nor am I a counselor. But because I’ve gone through some of the same challenges they’re facing, I have experience that might be helpful to relate, including a question I had to consider and on they do as well: which way are you choosing?
Sometimes the way we choose seems like one that’s helpful to others, on that’s even about the well being of someone else, when in reality it’s all about us. Hiro from Darling in the Franxx knows this irony very well. He partners with 002, the entire time saying that he’s fighting to help others and support the team; a vision of Naomi calls his bluff, however, showing Hiro that he’s really been piloting for himself.
I’ve been giving Hiro a lot of grief over his actions, but the truth is, I’m very much like him. All my life I’ve justified my actions, making them seem worthy or compassionate when they’ve been selfish. In high school, I would steal—soft drinks, magazines, money—and claim that I was some sort of corporate Robin Hood, taking from retailers that were making a profit off of us and giving to the poor (namely me). Fast-forward decades later, and I now justify parenting decisions, claiming that they’re for my kids’ own good rather than being decisions I make with too little thought and too much emotion.
The problem has been that when I go down these roads, the little decisions often become footsteps onto larger paths. I’m traveling on journeys that I’ve laid out with my limited and selfish wisdom, and that’s a scary thing. If often ends in failure for me.
I thought the same might happen to Hiro. Going into episode six, I had a feeling that someone close to him was going to die or at least get seriously injured (the odds were on Goro first, Ichigo second, in my book). But instead, he gets a chance at redemption without suffering consequences, and further, when he moves off his own path toward one that wasn’t about him but instead about helping his partner (or according to braverade, the choice to abandon the fear that he has nothing to give 002), he achieves something unexpected: Hiro is healed.
A similar thing has happened in my life as well. I’ve experience miraculous physical healing where doctors have told me the impossible happened, though that’s not what I’m referencing here (and it’s possible that Hiro’s growth may not be full gone). I’ve found that when I lose control, I’ve gained a better life, and I’ve seen it happen many times. When I’ve chosen God’s path, as foolish as it seems in my head, he’s led me to beautiful and unexpected places time and time again.
I’m reminded of Philip, who questions the power of God when telling Jesus about the lack of food to feed the 5,000. Jesus, who could have done any of a number of things to feed the people, takes the food that Philip refers to and multiplies it. Philip would have the people go home to eat; Jesus shows him to just trust and follow, and something far better happens. And I imagine as a result, the lives of so many that experience that miracle were changed. They were healed as well.
There’s so much wisdom in considering the other path, in seeing that no matter how smart we may be, we are never the end all and be all, and further, that our decisions may ultimately aid only ourselves, when another path affords an opportunity to help others. And for those of us with faith, there’s something more, too, as we understand this: choosing a way that puts ourselves last has the power to raise us up and to show us that healing, the the impossible, can happen.
Featured illustration by シーフード | reprinted w/permission