Bandwagon bandwagon go vote go vote hope your candidate wins, so on and so forth.
There, now that that's out of the way...
Pull up a chair for Uncle Zephie's Tale-Tellings.
World of Warcraft showcases the conflict between two sides, the Alliance (led by the Humans) and the Horde (led by the Orcs). For many who don't have any idea at all, most would see the Alliance as the good guys, the ones to cheer for. After all, the Horde is filled with savage races. The Orcs were a ruthless race dominated by bloodlust and cruelty. Well, once, anyhow. The humans were victorious time and again against the Horde forces and fought desperate battles to save their home from the vicious invaders...and many see them as the heroes and to be valued.
But let me tell you a story.
This is a story of Dezco, a paladin you run into during your questing through the Pandaria continent. Dezco exhibits all of the qualities of paladins: courageous, thoughtful, dutiful, and of The Light. He's a strong character and a strong warrior.
Yet, when you come across him again in the Krasarang Wilds zone, you find him in trouble. His wife is extremely sick, having caught a disease on the way to Pandaria. She is laid low in their quarters and needs help...because their unborn child is due soon. Dezco pleads with you to help, to aid in any way that you can. The next few quests show you dashing all over that zone, finding herbal remedies (courtesy of the Pandaren monk who is in the area), natural cures, anything at all...until after the last quest you turn in and after you defend the area from an invasion of dark forces, Dezco's wife goes into labor.
He asks you humbly to guard the tent while he looks after her. Doing so shows a cutscene of your character assuming a watchful guard...and it feels like a small honor.
The next scene shows a funeral pyre being lit, shedding her earthly remains behind. For she did not make it through the birth...and the camera ends its sweeping shot of the camp as your character looks in on Dezco, standing watchful over his newborn twin sons.
Heartbreaking, isn't it? Dezco has taken a tremendous loss that many would be crippled over for a very long time. Yet his sons have given him his purpose, even as he grieves for the loss of his cherished mate. Looking in on it, I saw a true soul being bared, one that's immensely strong and full of compassion and wisdom. A True Paladin.
So why do I bring this up?
Dezco...is a Tauren Paladin.
Dezco is a member of The Horde.
Many of you not in the know for this questline are probably at least a little surprised. "Aren't the Horde supposed to be evil?"
No...not necessarily. And likewise, the Alliance isn't always so pure and noble either. Just look at their leader, King Varian Wrynn, who if he had it his way would commit the very same genocides that he has perceived the Horde to be guilty of upon them. All for a slight against him so very very long ago that isn't really applicable anymore.
Dezco's questline stands as definable proof that when viewed without prior knowledge, the labels stop applying completely. Many of you hurt at least a little reading about Dezco's painful and helpless loss. And yet, had you been aware of his being a Tauren, would you have viewed him differently? Would the staunchest of Alliance supporters have sneered and said he deserved it?
I don't know...but it stands as a good valid point that labels shouldn't be used to define people because, in the end, we all have things that hurt us and uplift us. We all have good points. Even those who we view through a label. Chances are high that we have no real clue or basis for comparison to what they're REALLY like, only what our instincts and our presuppositions have told us.
Want a clear example?
Democrats v Republicans
Liberals/Left-Wing v Conservatives/Right-Wing
Gays v Straights
Atheists v Fundamentalists
White v All Races Not White (gods, I feel dirty writing that)
Hell, even Cats v Dogs fits this somehow (in a very loose sense)
We can't allow labels to define our peers before we ever know them.
Because we don't know them. Period. And were we to *try* to know, we might be surprised at how very much we can have compassion for them and for what they stand for, what they fight for. At how much we have in common with them, what beliefs we really share.
Because without those labels, they might just be someone we could call an ally. Maybe even a friend.
Something to think on as the election comes and goes.
5 years, 10 months ago
06 Nov 2012 06:47 CET