Whose Pikachu Is It Anyway?

There are a few things that are guarantees in Life (at least life in America):death, taxes, and the fact that any flight to Orlando, Florida will be filled with families.

At this point, I have traveled to and from Orlando too many times to count. No, I did not take a job with Disney (though I was offered one years ago, but that’s another story for another day).

On a recent trip, one grandmother was briefing me on two of her grandchildren. The older one, a 13-year-old boy and surprisingly, a Pokémon buff, had won two stuffed animals in a game of skill at a community event. One was Pikachu, which made his day. His younger sister did not net the same outcome.  

Sensing that his sister might want a plush takeaway for herself, he told her she could have one of his if she wanted: he was only interested in Pikachu anyway. For those of you who missed out on Ninetendo's early days or do not yen for classic anime characters, you may look at the yellow creature below and wonder what the fuss is about. I can only say that “cool,” like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

“But that’s the one I want,” replied his sister, pointing at Guess Who.

What would you do in the same situation? Most of us would probably repeat that Pikachu was already spoken for and the other plush was available, should she wish.


“Ok, you can have it,” he replied, giving her the coveted prize.

I had to ask: did the young man’s sister appreciate her brother’s sacrifice? “I think so,” his grandmother replied. “She did say, ‘Thank you.’ I just hope he’ll be all right in this world. He has such a big heart,” she added wistfully.

How do we treat the people with big hearts in our lives? We may say we admire them, but in the moment when we witness someone being extremely giving or open-hearted, do we judge or criticize them for lacking boundaries or “being a doormat,” or do we see an opportunity to take advantage of their generosity?

What is that statement about giving an inch…and why do we, deep down, sometimes conflate giving with giving our power away?

For the rest of the month…or the year, what if, as a trial, we treat each act of generosity towards us as an act of strength, not weakness.What if we accept the gift, think higher of the giver for having offered and let the spirit of the exchange be contagious in our own actions towards others.

Seems like a cool way to wrap up the year…and start a new one.

Cool is in the eye of the beholder, after all.