Something I’ve been enjoying a little bit too much lately is a trip down memory lane and getting swamped with nostalgia, fully through my own fault.
Alas, I’ve been nursing a sore throat as of late and forced on break from work and housework (I’m not happy about either), which gave me some time to watch classics from childhood. It started with the original Beauty and the Beast and has lead all the way to…Spongebob. I grew up in the 90s so of course this is a childhood treasure to me!
This recuperating period has also given me even more time to think more deeply even into the things I watch now, which has lead to my conclusion from this show –
Why don’t I see a lot of Spongebobs in real life?
Granted, he is a cartoon character (duh), but I mean his values and attitude toward life is so rare with what I see around me. On the other hand though, I see a lot of Squidwards, Patricks, Mr. Krabs’ and a whole of Sandy women about.
Spongebob is by no means perfect yet he demonstrates a high amount of virtue in his life amongst all his friends and everyone else in Bikini Bottom. I don’t think anyone could quite contradict me on this (really), though it’s obvious that Spongebob is the happiest, most fulfilled character in the whole show. I think this is because he is quite virtuous and knows how to enjoy life on simpler terms. He understands what really matters in life.
Think about it.
One of usual characters being criticised is Mr Krabs since he is so greedy and he often finds himself in trouble and in constant competition with his rival, Plankton, due to this. Patrick is very naive, literally living under the rock and though some may agree ignorance is bliss, his lack of awareness often causes himself harm and an aimlessness in life. You have Sandy, who has to have forms of extremes to be able to find satisfaction in her life. There’s Squidward, who is very convinced of his own superiority yet since he looks down on everyone, the contrast between them and him constantly makes him bitter and frustrated. You even have Mrs. Puff who is warm and caring, yet her worrisome nature hinders her from fully enjoying her life.
I see people like this everywhere, even those I personally know.
I’m not saying these characters are bad characters, not at all, most of them are supportive to Spongebob as his friends and mates and they all teach him lessons in life. In fact, all of them do serve to teach a lesson in their interactions and stories with Spongebob.
Now we can look at Spongebob. He’s cheerful, caring for others and always willing to learn new things. He knows he’s not the smartest person but he is humble and takes pleasure in being the best at everything he does in life.
Cooking at the Krusty Crab.
Taking care of Gary.
Being a great friend to Patrick.
Learning about driving to pass his test.
That’s right, catching jellyfish. He doesn’t need extremes (a lot of which are considered normal now in our society), doesn’t need to be constantly hunting for money, doesn’t need to feel smarter than others and really appreciates his humble home and balanced life.
As you watch the shows, he is constantly tested, he makes mistakes, he becomes afraid, his behaviour changes for a little while yet he always ultimately learns (and re-learns) that being virtuous always brings him happiness.
Caring about others, doing things in moderation and not aiming for the material brings true happiness in his life.
Maybe we should stop admiring and channelling these big-shot business people and Instagram models or whatever, as much.
Channel Spongebob, we all love him anyway!