Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Mind of Kratos

Whew, sorry for the delay, I blame getting married and hurricane Sandy.  Still no power! ;_;  Oh well, I'm at work, and have time to post, so there's that!  Today we will take a peek into the mind of Kratos!

Have you ever felt angry at the world around you and not really known why?  Or maybe even inexplicably sad?  Do you feel as though the world is out to get you in some way, or maybe owes you something in return for sacrifices made?  This post may be worth a read, then.

Okay, let's start out at the top here.  On surface level, Kratos is angry, and, to use popular internet speak, gives zero f&#$s.  He completely disregards anything between him and his goal, including other people, their wants and needs, their lives, or even death itself.  In some ways this level of determination is admirable, however, it crosses the line into what most would consider cruelly ruthless, with no care given to decency or any real moral code.

What drives a man to reach this level?

The answer is twofold, pain, and immaturity.  Kratos suffers from great pains in his past that he cannot seem to overcome.  This manifests in a rage-filled drive for revenge.  Now, in some ways, this revenge may be well placed.  In the first game, it's clear Ares is very much responsible for most of Kratos' pain.  However, Kratos grows increasingly angry and petulant.  For all the awesomeness of his hyper-macho figure, his temper and method of justifying things seems an awful lot like an angry toddler with way too many muscley-muscles and pointy things at his disposal.

This may sound like I'm selling Kratos' character short, and in some ways I am.  He has a bit more depth than this, especially if you go further into his past with the handheld games.  However, in the end, most of Kratos' pain is self-inflicted.  Without dipping too far into spoilers, it's his own lust for power, or fear of defeat, that drives him to strike self-harming bargains.  He lashes out at the world in response to his own personal pain, but more often than not this is just to obscure the fact that he is responsible for most of his problems.

From a personal perspective, I can relate to this.  For much of my angsty teenage years I was angry at the world, and it took me a while to realize that I was in fact angry at myself for my own choices.  Laziness, procrastination, and perceived waste of my own potential.  When I got a bit older and less hormone-ridden, I began to realize that the problems I was dealing with were mostly my own.  Unfortunately, this flipped in the exact opposite direction from anger, and rather than taking responsibility for these shortcomings and moving on, I began to belittle myself and fall into depression.  Even now I'm still learning to accept my shortcomings and poor decisions and adapt to them, rather than wallow in them.

Typically in these situations, the advice given is everything from, "Suck it up and face your problems like a man!" to "Oh you poor dear, take some time for yourself and be self indulgent."  I find that both of these extremes are part of the solution for me, personally, and maybe for you, too.  First, you have to realize that some problems you're dealing with in life are your fault.  Maybe more than some, maybe most, or even all.  Realizing this can sometimes be hard, and can hurt, and can be the scariest part because this is the point where it's easiest to fall into a hole that is very hard to get out of.

Remember.  Even if you somehow come to the conclusion that EVERYTHING in your life that you dislike is entirely your fault(highly unlikely), berating yourself for it does you no good.

Okay, so your life isn't great.  It's some, most, or all your fault.  But now what?  I can tell you outright, wallowing does NO good.  You need to be constructive, and move forward.  This is terrifying though, because as soon as you think about starting anew the first thing your subconcious is going to say is, "Hey, if you screwed up that bad in the past, it may be done and gone and not worth worrying about, but you've got a pretty bad track record here, buddy.  Best stay safe and not stick your neck out."


That is not you.  You are a new person every moment of existence.  Every time you start a new task, it is new, and fresh, and clean, and has nothing to do with your past performance on anything.  So start a new task.  Right now.  Make is something like cleaning a room.  Do the dishes.  Mow the lawn.  Pick something you know how to do, and complete it.  It seems dumb, but getting even that little bit of happy "I did something and finished it," brain juices can be enough to jump-start you into something bigger.  Go for a walk.  Heck, if you're nervous to take on anything like that, just go sit in a public place, and then come home.  Even that is a big step for some people, and if you are one of those people, I know you can do it.

Go do something.  Something tiny.  And when you're done, tell yourself, "Hey me, you did a pretty good job."  Seriously, say it out loud, it helps.  Kratos internalizes his pain and self-blame, without ever acknowledging or letting it out.  This is poison inside you.  There's a difference between being determined, and being a rage-filled monster.  Don't be the monster, be the constructive, determined person, driven by past mistakes AND victories to build a better, more purpose-driven life.

For today, my little victory was writing this blog post.  I started, and finished it, and now the task of starting my NaNoWriMo challenge eight days late seems a little less daunting =)  I'll see you all tomorrow, thanks for reading!

Until then, make sure to follow me on Twitter,  like the blog page on Facebook, and continue to do stuff!

Dan "DaRatmastah" Wallace

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