Our Common Ground: by Brandt and Nash

I’m sitting in the kitchen eating nachos with my 11-year-old brother Nash. Over two decades separate us. He asked me what we’re going to do tonight. I told him we’re going to write a blog post.

The first topic we discussed was, brace yourself, Fortnite. We talked about it for a minute, but then I said, ‘Let’s write about something that we both love, that way we can both be into this. Any ideas?’ His answer? Pokemon.

T w e n t y y e a r s

Nash and I are very different people.

He’s into things like Fortnite, ‘clapping people,’ YouTubers named ‘Randumb,’ and basketball.

I don’t enjoy any of those things (particularly not whatever ‘clapping people’ is). I like writing, video games from the late 90s-early 200s, and making sure my lawn isn’t overrun with weeds.

Those common interests, however, exist.

What Nash likes about Pokemon

He said he loves the cards. Looooooves them. That feeling of ripping open a new pack and finding a ‘full-art trainer,’ or ‘rainbow rare’ makes him feel like he’s won the lottery. Here are some pictures for reference.

He likes the first generation of Pokemon, the original 151 (because he has good taste… at least in this). Dialga is his favorite even though it’s from the fourth generation. Decidueye is a close second. I asked him why Dialga was his favorite – his answer: ‘Because he’s fat, and like 500 pounds.’ I did a quick Google search – he’s actually 1,505 pounds.

He cut his teeth on Pokemon Pearl, but Pokemon Go is when he started to fall in love with it (despite his arguing with me as I type this). The joint experience of playing with family (especially his dad), of working on finding a shiny Magikarp, or figuring out how to pick your Eevee evolution – all of it was exciting for him.

What I like about Pokemon

The games. Collecting as many different Pokemon as possible, and then putting together a team of six that I enjoy. I also enjoy the card game, but I enjoy the mechanics of playing more than the collecting aspect. There is a lot of strategy and it’s surprisingly deep.

Ninetales

My favorite generation is also the first, but that’s mainly because I was the perfect age to enjoy them when the games first debuted. I have such fond memories of playing on the Gameboy Color, of actually managing to collect all 150 (only to have my game erased… yes, I’m still salty 20 years later). My favorite Pokemon is Ninetales. It’s really not a very ‘strong’ Pokemon, but I like foxes, and it’s pretty awesome looking.

What we share

There are twenty years between us. In many things, we’re diametrically opposed. I don’t like competitive games – that’s all he wants to play. He wants to go outside and play basketball – I’d rather watch paint dry. He loves dogs – I love cats.

We don’t spend time talking about all the things we don’t have in common, however. We talk about the things we both enjoy. Sure, we might talk about Fortnite and ‘cranking 90s,’ but even in that we can find common ground – we both enjoy the streamer TimTheTatman. He likes watching him play Fortnite, while I just enjoy watching him yell at the camera and have fun.

We exist in two very different places, in two very different generations. We have little by way of shared interests. Do you know what’s more important than all those things we don’t share and all those generational differences? What we do share. We share a family. We share a faith. We share a love for Pokemon. When we let it, the few shared interests can vastly outweigh the numerous differences.

We can always find something to disagree on, but what if we spent more time finding our common ground?

Always find your ‘Pokemon.’

~ Brandt and Nash

Pokemon Card Image Credit – Troll and Toad

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