“To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is alchemy’s first law of Equivalent Exchange.”

From: Fullmetal Alchemist

Genre: Cartoons, Television, Anime

Who said it?: Alphonse Elric

The story behind the quote: Fullmetal Alchemist is an extremely popular manga and anime set in an alternate timeline where people still use alchemy instead of modern chemistry. According to the series, alchemy evolved into the practice of transmuting basic components into various items. For example, if you collect the broken parts of a radio, you wouldn’t need to send it to a repairman; using alchemy, you can simply use these parts to rebuild the radio. As long as the elements are in the right amounts, you can theoretically anything.

By the way, MINOR SPOILERS…

The main characters of the series are the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse. They are in search for the legendary Philosopher’s Stone because of a disastrous accident they caused. When their mother died, they decided to try to revive their mother through alchemy (which is forbidden). They managed to get the necessary elements to supposedly resurrect her but there was a reason why it’s strictly forbidden to perform alchemy on a human.

While all of the necessary earthly elements and materials are all there, it does not include the spiritual soul that is still lacking. Because of this, Edward lost his right arm and left leg and Alphonse’s spirit is trapped in a suit of armor. The brothers believe that the Philosopher’s Stone, which will enable an alchemist to bypass the need for the elements to be exact. But they’re not doing to to try to resurrect their mother anymore. They’re doing it to restore their bodies.

The quote comes from the English version of the anime, which you can see below.

Geek wisdom: In order to get something really difficult to obtain, we must be ready to put the necessary work into getting it. Sure, there are going to be those lucky that beat the odds without any real effort, but we really shouldn’t bank on it happening to us. That’s why not everyone is rich. Think of the people that are highly successful and, most of the time, they will tell you that they had to work hard for what they have. The problem is that we usually just see the end result of all their hard work and assume they had it easy all the time.

Anything and everything you want to achieve can be achieved most of the time. The only thing is that you have to be willing to put in the backbreaking work to make it all the way to your goal.

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