Mia is my paragon. According to Merriam-Webster, paragon means “a model of excellence or perfection”. It's pretty obvious what her role in VHV is as she advises and corrects the more inexperienced members of the team, but what everyone has latched onto, myself included, is how cute, sweet, fluffy and wholesome she is.
In other words she's safe, approachable, trustworthy, and good for a shoulder to cry on or a hug. She may so far have at the time of writing led the team through a lot of danger and put out her share of fires (literally even!), but she's cute, dang it.
This is by design. You might even say it's “my fault” if you want to be a little silly about it.
Not a one bit of this is bad, and here indeed I shall get opinionated- With so many shows and books and movies nowadays full of scummy people that somehow garner the love of their fans, the rare time you see someone safe and lovable in any media is truly refreshing. Of course I'm going to contribute.
So why talk about her today? That's what she is, right? Nothing much more needs to be said at the moment, right?
Of course I'm putting words in some of your mouths, but some of you are actually speaking them, or at the very least through making no further observations beyond how cute and wholesome she is, implying them.
And that's the thing. I like complex people. I may like likable people just like anyone else, but I more appreciate people willing to think- Someone who is open to exploration of their thought process and possesses enough introspection that they can explain them and is willing to explore the other's is my ultimate ideal in a stranger.
But for some of you I don't think, if you really got to sit down with and get to know Mia, you'd actually like her.
Of course, some of you would for sure. Some of you would agree with her on many things, and some of you would simply share my enjoyment of complex people and appreciate what I've designed her to be. After all, she clearly thinks-
And she's careful to consider others, even if she won't be swayed from her own thoughts-
But some of you wouldn't. There are absolutely those of you who would rather I just stopped at “wholesome” because it's easier to presume someone you like is like yourself than to carefully consider everything that makes them tick and believe you can like them in spite of certain components and because of others.
Yup. I'm pointing fingers now.
Here's the twist- I'm pointing my fingers at everybody.
You there, reading this, you've done it.
The man at the gas station has done it.
The guy you cut off in traffic has done it.
The nice little old lady who lives in the apartment next to yours has done it.
The guy who votes the same as you has done it.
The guy who votes differently than you has done it.
And don't you dare start thinking up names or faces- I'm going on one of those “fundamental human condition” tracks here.
We're such self centered creatures that we see ourselves as complex grays and a tapestry of colors besides, but look at every one else as either completely black or completely white. And both the latter are wrong, and so very, very often based on whether they agree with the important things or not.
How many times have you seen a Christian presume all atheists are completely evil- Devoid of any good motivation or real benevolent intent because the thing on which they disagree was the most important thing?
As a Christian myself, I've seen this plenty enough times. In some ways throughout my Christian schooling it was the only way they were portrayed, even if in only a subdued, smug form. It came as a surprise to me to learn an atheist could have any respect for Christendom (though a further shock to find the extreme, spitting-mad hatred others express towards religion was real in anyone).
Nothing worth doing is easy though.
It is so very, very hard to find what is human in our fellows, and sometimes we may even be punished for trying because the fellow in question, and even those on our side, do not think it should be done.
But in my personal understanding of the fundamental nature of reality- That being that there is a God, there is a Jesus, and there is a Holy Spirit- whether you agree with me or not- I believe I and my brothers and sisters in Christ are called to seek and search for the good in everyone just as much as we are called to bring about the good in ourselves and cast out the evil within.
Following Jesus' example, I don't have to approve of everything you do to love you. It's the point of “The word became flesh”, the death and the resurrection.
Not only is this what I believe we should all be doing, it's a part of Mia's paragon aspects, and make no mistake, probably the primary source of her wholesome nature. Obviously she's a Niemaist, and there's no Niema in the world in which I write this blog post, but the principle is there.
Her own particular complexity in some strange circular way is that she believes people to be complex- And just as in real life, she's usually right. I fully intend to prove this in the comic proper if I have not already.
Wholesome is good. It's perfectly fine that Mia is safe, approachable, trustworthy, and good for a shoulder to cry on or a hug.
It's okay you think she's cute and fluffy. You can come to this comic for the cute and fluffiness and the cuddles and the sappiness (All of which there is plenty!)-
But if there is anything I want you to take from this comic is that gray is the most common color of the human heart-
We all are creatures created in the image of God, broken and tarnished, but we all know what good and evil looks like.
We need to look for the good in others and bring it out in love.
Sometimes more starts growing just because you're looking.