After that ridiculous show of strength, we’ll do anything you say! Uh… I don’t have the strength to deal with you… Steven Universe Future ended off 2019 on a depressing note. And that seems to be mutually agreed upon by both those on social media, and from those within my friend group. The show has only given us 10 episodes so far, but each of those episodes have their own message ingrained within their writing. And while all of those messages are striving to add to the broader narrative and final message of Steven Universe, I think that individually they’re very important to understand. Instead of jumping right into the episodes with heavy implications like Prickly Pair, I decided to start out with an episode that has an important but much more lighthearted message. That episode being, Why So Blue? Now… regardless of how you feel about Lapis Lazuli as a character and the direction the crewniverse decided to take with her, this episode is very important in terms of the lesson it tries to teach its viewers. One that I think everyone, including myself, can learn from. The lesson of patience and restraint. Throughout the episode, Lapis and Steven are interacting with two other Lapis Lazuli’s. To avoid confusion for the rest of this video, we’re going to refer to Crystal Gem Lapis as Lapis, and the other two Lapis’s as Curls and Freckles respectively. Lapis and Steven go to an alien world, because Curls and Freckles are going around and terraforming planets with their water powers. Effectively killing the organic life that lives on them. This is a normal occurrence, since gems were once part of homeworld are a bit confused as to what their purpose is, now that the Diamond Authority is no longer using them to colonize planets. They think that these actions of terraforming will please Steven, but are simultaneously disappointed and unfazed to learn that these actions are unwanted. Instead of actually doing what Steven wants, they continue to destroy the planet since it’s what they enjoy doing. Steven’s goal is to educate and reason with the gems who were seemingly lost in their ways, and to give them direction. While the duo is trying to reason with them, Curls and Freckles continually insult Lapis calling her dull and boring amongst other things. This obviously hurts her feelings, but she restrains herself from rebutting in a harmful manner. Eventually though, Lapis has enough of their verbal and physical attacks and she fights back. She uses her power to essentially scare them into submission. Which then in return, also gets them to agree to stop terraforming. This gets Lapis and Steven the results they want, but not in the way they want them. This also doesn’t fully solve the problem. She then explains that her physical show of strength and loss of her temper wasn’t strength. It was weakness. While yes, Lapis being able to easily overpower them with her abilities, is a show of just how physically powerful she is, her loss of her temper was not a show of strength. Restraint and patience is where true strength is. To better explain what this episode is trying to teach, let’s go over a regular everyday occurrence: You’re in an argument with someone who’s close to you. Possibly a family member. That person is really going after you, and they’re saying a lot of hurtful things. In anger, you cave and say something hurtful back to them. Maybe you bring up something bad that they did in the past, and apologized for years and years ago. Maybe you took a cheap shot and picked at one of their insecurities, if it supported your argument. The person goes silent and no longer engages in the argument with you, and they leave you alone. Since in arguments, the first person to go silent is seen as the loser, you think that you’ve won. Does this make you right? Does this make you powerful? Does this make you the winner? Not really, no. You hurt the person into being quiet, rather than actually settling or solving the problem. Both people are still upset about what caused the argument, and their feelings likely haven’t changed on it. The only thing that has changed is the approach. They’ll just avoid or ignore the problem until it festers and becomes much worse, because they know that whenever they argue with you about it that they’ll end up hurt. That or this argument will be a reoccurring theme that continually happens time and time again, because it hasn’t actually been resolved.
Whenever you’re arguing it’s less about the problem itself and more about winning by any means necessary. It becomes less about solving a problem, and more about who can win by being the most hurtful and who can get who to be quiet quicker. Either way, there’s no winners in this situation. Only losers. Think about it: How many of you avoid talking about certain subjects or problems that need to be talked about, simply because it always gets to the point where personal attacks are being made. How many times have you made one of those attacks and thought: “This is the perfect comeback!” Coming up with quick cheap shots that hurt people into being quiet is easy. What isn’t easy is stopping yourself from saying them, and actually focusing on the problem that the argument was about in the first place. Just because the person you were arguing with has hurt you, doesn’t mean that you should hurt them back. The saying an eye for an eye and the world goes blind is very applicable in this situation. Being hurtful back isn’t going to solve the problem or win you the argument. It’s only going to make things worse for you, and for the other person. Sure, it might shut them up. But realistically, if the problem hasn’t been solved that’s not really a good outcome. True strength is being able to win an argument without insults, or without hurting the other person back. Getting the other person to see your point of view and admit their own fault is how you truly win an argument. You don’t need to stoop to as low a level as the person arguing with you has. It’s very easy to say “well they did it, so I can too.” It’s harder to say: “They’re insulting me and making personal attacks but I’m not going to insult them back.” Being able to do that makes you the bigger person in that moment of time. Not them for hurting you into submission. Now, I should preface this by saying that of course this only applies to normal everyday vocal arguments. Like over minor or sometimes some major disagreements. However, some people you can’t reason with things about; and no amount of arguing in good faith or not, is going to change that. I don’t want this message getting misconstrued. If someone is physically or mentally abusing you, by all means remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible and defend yourself. You don’t really owe it to that person at that point to be diplomatic with them. What this message is saying, however, is that hurting people to win an argument doesn’t get to the root of the issue. Someone only listening to you out of fear isn’t a good thing. Because the way that they feel, and the way that they act will stay the same. They will just limit how they’re behaving around you and not around others who their behavior could also hurt. You don’t win an argument with someone by making them afraid of you. You win an argument by making them see your point of view, the latter of which is much harder to achieve because this is a permanent solution. True strength is seeing that resolve through, no matter if the opposition is spitting vitriol. Weakness is taking the easy way out, just so you can get the momentary serotonin that comes after the delivery of a good comeback. And, If you don’t have the patience or strength to deal with that person or argument anymore, it’s always okay to admit that to yourself and walk away or disengage. At least until you’ve calmed down and can deal with it with a clear mind. Or maybe just remove yourself from that equation permanently if you can’t handle it, which is also a valid conclusion to come to. True strength comes in admitting when you cannot handle something, rather than forcing yourself to go through with it. You aren’t weak for needing to take a break or back down from something. In the digital era where everything is anonymous, and talking to people is now easier and more accessible than ever, this message is more applicable than ever. So the next time you see or receive a mean comment, instead of commenting back with a witty or personalized comeback that’s meant to shut the person up, what you should do is just ignore it. I know that that’s easier said than done, and I know that sometimes it’s very hard to resist. Especially if you’ve already thought of a good comeback to hit the person with. But, in reality you’re giving in to temptation that has no positive outcome. Just a brief moment of satisfaction that won’t last for more than a day or two. You and your followers may have a good laugh over what you said in response, and that will be it. In reality, no one really leaves that situation better off than how they started. And trust me, this really isn’t an easy thing to do. I myself have fallen prey to giving a snarky reply back to one or two comments that I felt were incredibly stupid, or needlessly mean-spirited. But I do try my hardest to restrain myself from doing that. And just like with Lapis in regards to the Curls and Freckles situation, they judged her without actually knowing her. Throwing insults at her, and refusing to understand her. The same thing is applicable to online interactions. Strangers online don’t actually know you personally, so within reason, their opinion of you really shouldn’t matter. Only you, or the people who know you personally know what type of person you are. Not some stranger who’s judging your entire person based off of one comment or piece of content that they’ve seen from you. Attacks on you as an individual shouldn’t be taken seriously, and you should just do your best to ignore it. Not saying to deflect rightful criticism, but personal attacks aren’t criticism so much as they are insults with malicious intent. They’re just not worth engaging with. Especially if you’re only doing so for your own fulfillment of saying: “Huh, I sure showed that person up.” Trust me, the person you’re responding to is just glad you took the bait and now you may look bad if you insulted them back. And like I said earlier in this video, a lot of this is circumstantial and within reason. Someone having a different opinion with you on a cartoon is not grounds for them to call you names, and if that’s happening you should just ignore it. Be the bigger person in this situation. At the end of the episode, Lapis switches to a more relaxed approach with Curls and Freckles. She explains that she’s not proud of her little outburst, which is confusing to the two. They hand them Little Homeschool pamphlets, before heading back to Little Homeworld. While Curls doesn’t seem to have had a change of heart, Freckles shows up at the school, willing to learn. And this is what the outcome is of being patient and having restraint. Lapis and Steven were patient with two people who they were at odds with. They explained why the two were wrong, and why what they were doing was harmful. Even under immense ridicule, they didn’t resort to insulting the two misplaced gems back. They stood their ground and calmly explained their reasoning, eventually convincing Freckles that their way was the correct way. They didn’t manage to convince Curls, regardless of their friendly approach. And that’s okay. Like I said earlier, not everyone is going to be reasoned with. You do have people that are so stuck in their own ways and so afraid that they aren’t willing to listen to you. Friendly or not. However, they did manage to turn Freckles to their side. Not only will she now be having a happier life, but so will the aliens whose planets she was destroying. So will the Crystal Gems and Steven, since she’s one less gem that they need to worry about fighting. While sometimes, fighting and war is inevitable, compassion and empathy will always be what creates the best outcome for everyone. A lot of anger and aggression in the word is based of off fear. If you take away that fear, you get rid of a lot of violence and pain. Not feeding into that aggression is a good first step, though it isn’t always avoidable. And I think that Curls is symbolism for those who cannot be reasoned with. It’s likely that she’s going to crop up again as a problem, and that Steven and Lapis yet again will have to intervene. This time, but with no choice but to fight. But it can’t be said that peaceful resolution wasn’t attempted at first. But at the end of the day, I think that the message of this episode is pretty clear. Insults and personal attacks are easier to resort to for a temporary and quick solution. But true strength comes in patience and restraint. It also leads to a more permanent and healthier solution, where more people are safer, better educated and happier. It may be difficult to do this in the face of fear and hatred, but fighting fire with fire only makes the flames more dangerous. And with all of that said I’m going to end off today’s video. If you’d like to see more videos like this in the future, why not subscribe and hit that bell icon to see when I upload. Special thank you to my top tier patrons: Ambrose Rothwood, Brandon Nunes, Lee Taylor, Zachary Ansley and Kenjay Weddington. Because of people like them, I can continue to make content like this. And I hope to see you all in the next video.