Despite hating its end and how it undoes every lesson and theme, I have 3 important Naruto lessons I still hold dear. It’s something I pondered over today, as it’s the birthday of this dear fictional entity we still celebrate. Even now, years later. I wondered if there really is something I could celebrate for, today. Is it really? So I dug deep and came with an answer.
Yes, the ending and a good portion of it went against everything it ever preached until then. However, that still doesn’t mean we can’t take the good part out of the bad one. After all, it’s like any other life experiences. Some are great, some are not. And from those which are not, you extract the good part and keep going forward on your road in life. That’s what I kind of did with this series.
As you all know and I never hid it, I was very involved and very disappointed with the ending. It’s a series I wouldn’t recommend to people, sadly. It gives a lot of problematic messages thanks to its ending. However, with all its bads, I’ll admit it has some good lessons to follow, if you don’t take into consideration the ending.
So, which are those 3 important Naruto lessons I am talking about? Well, I’ll spell them out for you on the following stages of this article.
3 important Naruto lessons – lesson no. 1: don’t take any shortcuts
Yes, life is hard. We aren’t all born into this lucky environment where everything is handled easily to us. Even more so, thanks to the corruption that runs rampant in the world, it’s even harder.
Said corruption breeds an environment that encourages shortcuts, schemes and many other practices like that, in order to grain something of important value to us. In a way, you could say it’s like selling our soul to the devil to get all these earthly benefits. Power. Recognition. To meet our dreams while we forsake ourselves.
In our story, this correlates to the road to Hokage title. The narrative establishes this precious lesson ever since chapter 2, named Konohamaru.
Naruto and Konohamaru talk about the latter’s wish to become Hokage and the reason for it. He sympathizes with Konohamaru. Because like Konohamaru, Naruto went through something similar himself.
In his initial quest and initial beliefs, Naruto wanted to become Hokage so that everyone acknowledges his existence. But he went for it in the wrong way. And in doing so, he almost lost himself.
Remember, back in chapter 1 Naruto turns into a thief. He steals the forbidden scrolls and learns Kage Bunshin thinking that this will make him stronger. That this will make him Hokage, thus makes the others acknowledge his existence. But, like Naruto says so to Konohamaru himself, he was about to lose himself and go the wrong way about this.
That in order to get that acknowledgement you have to work hard for it. Through all the obstacles that might appear in your life. To climb the high mountain rocky road and overcome each and any obstacles. Because in those obstacles it’s where you’ll find the richness of life.
That’s why no matter how the series ended which basically goes against this very lesson, I still think that this is one of the 3 important Naruto lessons we should all keep close to our hearts.
To never take the shortcuts which only makes us lose ourselves. To work hard for what we want.
3 important Naruto lessons – lesson no. 2: love truly (selflessly)
The second most important lesson that I hold close to my heart is the lesson of loving truly. Loving selflessly. This lesson starts slowly right after the chapter with Konohamaru. Yes, you’ve probably guessed it by now.
I’m talking about the love Naruto has for Sakura. At first, it started similar to his quest of becoming Hokage. He childishly played around with Sakura to get her attention and acknowledgement. He even wanted to steal a kiss from her while transformed into Sasuke.
But while transformed into him, Naruto learns something from Sakura. A valuable lesson.
One that only strengthens his conviction from the previous chapter regarding his quest to become Hokage.
Allow me to analyze a bit the moment again for you.
In his quest to steal a kiss from Sakura, Naruto finally approaches her and while transformed as Sasuke, he takes the chance to get an honest opinion from her regarding him.
In that very moment, Sakura confesses that she truly believes Naruto doesn’t understand anything about her. About her seriousness to get Sasuke’s acknowledgement. And that’s when something clicks for Naruto.
She is determined to do whatever it takes to get Sasuke’s acknowledgement. To walk the hard road. To not take any shortcuts!
And while in the process of unfairly stealing her attention/kiss, he finally understands why he likes Sakura! Because Sakura is like him. She also wants acknowledgement. And the way she goes about it reminds Naruto of his own very essence and quest for acknowledgement.
He reminds him that there are no shortcuts to getting people’s acknowledgement. That like in his Hokage quest, he has to do this the right way. The hard way. With no shortcuts. And that is when Naruto’s love starts turning from this childish crush he has for her, into the selfless love he carries for her all throughout the manga.
The culmination of that being of course, the promise of a lifetime Naruto makes to Sakura. When he, despite his own feelings, accepts Sakura’s plea to bring Sasuke back.
In that very moment, we have the proof that Naruto’s love is not a childish crush anymore, but a pure, selfless love.
3 important Naruto lessons – lesson no. 3: never go back on your word
This third point very much conjuncts with the other two I’ve made, so I’m going to be short about it.
The first lesson and the second lesson encompass very much the characteristic of the third one. In both first and second one, Naruto’s character is shaped.
He preaches to Konohamaru about not taking shortcuts, and he promises Sakura she’ll bring back Sasuke. But those could very well be words, right?
I think it’s no wonder that in chapter 183 called Promise of a Lifetime we have these particular panels showing-up.
Why Naruto does this promise to Sakura when he could’ve cared less, right? Besides the romantic factor of course.
Well, we get the answer to that in a previous panel.
I have talked more in depth about this aspect here. I won’t dwell on it right now as this would only go fall into another category and it’s not the point of the post here.
Point is, the third and most important lesson is never going back on your word. And I think it’s a lesson very important and still relevant in today’s world. Where more and more people are easy to not follow through what they say.
Why bring these up? Well, besides my initial quest of doing something to celebrate in some way this knuckle head ninja, I believe these are very important lessons. In this era where consumerism encourages us to take the short way out, not work hard, not keep our words and promises because eh, we can always replace stuff.
However, no, that’s not how it is. Real, authentic connections require all these 3 important Naruto lessons I’ve talked about with you. And no matter the digital and consumerist world we live in, we are ultimately human beings. Whose souls crave connection. Real, human connection.
But to have those and enjoy the maximum benefits of those connections, you must treat them with respect. And apply some simple principles. And the principles lay in those very lessons I talked with you about today.
That’s why these lessons, like I said, are staying with me forever. No matter how bad things ended. It’s life. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you learn.
But you never lose. 🙂
With this being said, I thank you for reading up until now.