Now you may think this post is about how Assassin’s Creed got me involved in parkour or in the assassination of high profile targets. But the truth of the matter is that I already knew how to do those things long before Assassin’s Creed was ever made. No, this story is a little deeper.
In the Assassin’s Creed short animated film Embers, Master Assassin Ezio Auditore writes one of his final letters to his wife and says:
When I was a young man, I had liberty, but I did not see it. I had time, but I did not know it. And I had love, but I did not feel it. Many decades would pass before I understood the meaning of all three. And now, the twilight of my life, this understanding has passed into contentment. Love, liberty, and time: once so disposable, are the fuels that drive me forward.
Never has a quote from one of my favorite videogame franchise resonated with me so deeply since “Its ah me! Mario!” But in all seriousness, the themes of liberty, time, and love can make you appreciate the importance of the people that come into our lives.
For a game that is focused on liberating various people from templar-controlled organizations, the liberty Ezio is referring to here is of a more personal nature.
Being free is more than just being rid of physical confinement, it has to do with understanding who you are as a person. In Assassin’s Creed, many of the assassins went thru a period of revelation, in which they understood who they were and the purpose of their life.
Its true, when we are young it feels like quite the opposite. It feels that all of our decisions are made for us. But liberty in this sense is the feeling that you can think freely, express yourself freely, and live freely. For the most part, we are all lucky that we live in countries which allow us to express ourselves. As we get older we will become more independent. We will have more control over our lives and the decisions we make will shape our future. If that is not liberty I do not know what is. We have the freedom to take control of our lives and make the most of our circumstances.
It is often taken for granted but time is always moving forward. This lesson never became more clear to me then it did when my grandmother passed away. Let me tell you guys something about Grandma Echo. She was a strong woman. She always said that the key to living a long healthy life was to be active. When she was about 70 years old we climbed a waterfall in Jamaica together. She lived by her own words. But as I got older, so did she. The woman who took me to school everyday when I was younger and gave me my first Zelda game was slowly inching towards the end of her life and all I wanted was more time.
“All I wanted was more time”
Time is just one of those things we always have until we notice that it is running out. If you want my advice, do not wait until tomorrow to start that project you’ve always wanted to start. Do not wait to tell that special person that you love them. Do not wait for the right time or the right opportunity to make a decision. The timing might never come and your window of opportunity may close. Live with that feeling that time is never on your side. Appreciate every second of it.
Love comes in many forms. I am not even so sure that a smooth talking Assassin like Ezio Auditore had it figured out. I have known heartbreak in the past. But it has made me stronger and has shown me to never settle.
“Never lose sight of those who love us”
Sometimes are lives are filled with so much love but we fail to feel it. We become focused on things which seem important at the time: our jobs, our studies, our hobbies. Yet, we lose sight of the fact that we have people in our lives that love us deeply. Whether it is a family member, a significant other, or even a pet, you are loved.
Ezio said that it was not until later in his life that he understood the meaning of all three of these things: liberty, time, and love. Instead of regretting that he had not understood these things earlier, he stated that these were now the fuels that drove him forward. Most importantly, he was appreciative that he was alive and was part of the lives of those he loved. Honored to be in a world “which always kept him guessing.” So when I said that I learned something from Assassin’s Creed about life, the truth is that I learned to stop living so fast. It may have been just a quote at the end of an animated short film but it did make me think. Most importantly, it made me want to stop and appreciate all the things and people I had in my life. It made me think, I am truly lucky for the liberty I have been given, the time I have been allowed, and the love I have been shown. We should try our best to never waste them or take them for granted.