The Power of One

Looking at just how much an outcome and conclusion can change due to the actions of one single person.

I just recently read a story where the main character was born into a world knowing everything that would happen in the future regarding individual lives and world events- included in that was the knowledge of his own death and the cause for it. As one would expect, the man decided that he would do all he could to avoid that end and to do so he would befriend the person who would end up killing him. Throughout this 3-book series, the evolution of the relationship between the two main characters was fascinating to watch. Character A was careful with his every action so that he would not walk down the same path that fate expected of him, yet time went by he began to realize that there were some events that had to occur, no matter how terrible they were or how much he did not want to carry them out. But, he knew there were bigger things at stake then just himself and his wishes and desires.

Knowledge is a powerful thing, yet it can also be a heavy weight to bear, especially alone. Throughout three books, Character A only meets one other person that has the same knowledge as him(who lives a mostly separate existence from him) and he never tells anyone the truth, so he is caught in this truly difficult situation where he begins to care for the people around him and seeks to save them from the dark ends they all face, while still keeping the most important and essential events in motion. It’s a risky balancing act and one cannot imagine how stressful such a situation can be. Character A manages to get through all of this by taking it all one step at a time as well as trying to find humor wherever he can.

Character B, on the other hand, is completely oblivious to the fate that is prescribed for him. He is essentially the anti-hero of this world; incredibly powerful and set to rule and control many. At the start of the story when the two characters truly meet, he is a bright-eyed and bushy tailed youth who has a truly kind heart and desire to grow stronger. Yet, his life has been full of hardships that can make one weep when read in detail. The reader grows to care for this character, filled with gratitude that he has not given up and still has hope and kindness in his heart and soul.

Yet, due to the fact that this story is told through the eyes of Character A, we known the fateful conclusion of this anti-hero’s story. Trials unimaginable are ahead of him and once he emerges from the other side, he will be a different man. Gone will be the innocence, the kindness, the hope and instead a true anti-hero will be born. Its a fall from grace that the reader and Character A fear and wish to avoid. This whole situation brings to mind an important situation: nature vs. nurture. How much of our actions are ingrained in us from birth and how much are impacted by the environment we live in? With Character B, it is mostly his environment that causes his downfall- the darkness of cruelty of the people around him serve to dim the light that exists within him, leaving only the darkness that had been ingrained in him since birth.

This is the dilemma of the story and is what Character A wishes to change. And what’s amazing about this story is that, no matter how nerve-wracking the situation is, Character A succeeds in his goal. Despite how complex and dangerous the situation is, Character A and B win in the end. The end result is much different from what fate told Character A and from what he imagined his changes would create, but it is a good world and a great ending. Despite all the pain, suffering, war, and tragedy, Character B manages to keep his humanity and this truly is due to Character A. Character A becomes Character B’s greatest companion and supporter and their bond stays no matter what troubles or issues that they face. It is a powerful show of just how important simple acts of kindness, acceptance, and love are in the life of an individual and make all the difference.

Though many of the most important events that led to this conclusion were full of sacrifice and courage, it all began with simple and small acts of trust and kindness as Character A reached out a hand of friendship to Character B. We all long for acceptance and love and when we have lived a life of pain and suffering, the light and love from one person can be just what we need to lift ourselves up and help us continue on the path towards a greater light and end rather than letting ourselves give up and sink down into the darkness. Of course, this path to a happier ending will not be simple or easy and often times we will be hurting and in pain, lost and confused once again- yet the light surrounding us will be just enough to fill us with hope and strength and allow us to continue on towards that brighter future.

PS. If you were curious, the series I read was ‘The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System’ by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu, a Chinese author. I’ve read the author’s two other series'(Heaven Official’s Blessing/Tiān Guān Cì Fú and Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation/Mó Dào Zǔ Shī/The Untamed) before and was so excited to read this one and it did not disappoint. The basic set up was lighthearted and silly and a bit ridiculous, yet it had such deep and dark undertones to it all in regards to the situation of Shen Yuan(now Shen Qingqiu) and Luo Binghe that as the series progressed, you were quickly pulled into it all and couldn’t wait for the solutions to come and for the final conclusion to happen.