Several years ago during one of my finding myself phases I wrote a piece detailing a number of heroes that I liked to identify with. Not just simply people that I would like to be because they were cool or could get the women but those role models that had had some influence on my life and the way I now acted. In a way guides where in some situations I could ask myself what would so and so do. On that list at the time were six fictional heroes and one real life person.
The very first one on the list and indeed in my life was He-man. Here I’m talking about the original cartoon series that was shown on Children’s ITV during my childhood. I was big fan of the show. I had the sword. The best Christmas I can remember is the one where I had loads of He-man toys from various relatives and Santa himself brought me Castle Greyskull with I spent Christmas morning with my dad putting it together. Just let me wipe away this tear forming in my eye.
That’s better. Now the reason I loved this show was not only because of the action and the colourful characters. And by colourful I mean colourful as most of the characters (and figures) came in a wide range of colours. Merman was purple, Beast Man orange etc etc. Skeleton was a fantastic baddie. There was plenty of humour with the way he treated his minions and how he reacted to his constant failures. On the heroes side we had comedy with the lovable Orko especially when Man at arms was at the receiving end of one of his backfiring tricks.
No the main reason why I still loved the show later in life (getting hold of the dvds to rewatch it) is because of the positive messages that came with the show. Usually those lessons were highlighted by a small fourth wall scene at the end of each episode. Yes some of them were very basic messages like not going off with strangers and don’t play with sharp objects. But the better messages were about being a better person. Respect for others despite their beliefs, appearance or any other differences. About being morally right. Taking responsibility and not giving up and losing confidence. A full list of all the moral messages presented at the end of the episode can be found here. http://old.he-man.org/cartoon/cmotu/seriesinformation/intodaysstory.shtml
That was the good thing about He-man. He was the strongest man in the universe but really it was the fact that he always did the right thing and always tried to look for the peaceful solution. He didn’t kill or hurt people and would often rely on his intellect more than his strength to win the day. The only things he ever punched was objects and robots. His sword was never used against anyone either. He would go out of his way to rescue the bad guys when their plans got them into trouble. It was the most basic set of right and wrong with no really grey areas. In fact even when he once thought that he had accidently killed someone as He-man he gave up his power feeling he no longer had the right to be He-man. Maybe in the real world it would be hard for someone to be as ‘right’ as He-man but for a child just growing up I feel that this basic message of right and wrong gives a good working basis for someone to develop their own morals from. Here was someone who would never cross the line between good and bad. Even She-Ra his twin sister followed the same values fighting alongside a rebel alliance against the evil ruler Hordak.
For me then personally He-man represents my most basic values. My faith in right and wrong. He is the guide I would turn to if I had a moral dilemma. He also shows me that using my mind more than my physical strength is often better and to try and be none violent. When I was creating my own personal deck of Tarot cards he was also the character I was going to use for strength but not just because of his physical strength but his strength of character. He is also the one who is the strongest connection to the innocence of my childhood. Yes the cartoon looks very dated and simple now but I still have a soft spot for it. Until next time bye.