Every day my wife will come home to find myself either playing or watching or even building something that has to do with Star Wars.
Loving Star Wars can be misunderstood as simplistic: the love of a sci-fi trilogy – But listen, nerf-herders: it’s so much more than that. Here’s why:
It’s about great stories:
Every culture rewrites its folk tales. Heroes, monsters, prophets and prophecies, and love – these are universal. Religions have risen and fallen on the likeability of their characters. (There is a reason that Thor is a member of the Avengers.) And Star Wars – is one of the best. We adapted it, shared it, venerated it and consumed it, but now it lives inside us, between us, binding us together. Fan or not, Star Wars is part of you, and you are part of it. Like the travels of Doc Brown and Marty Mcfly, the trials of Superman and the heroic journeys of Mario, you can’t avoid it.
The best stories teach us lessons, and Star Wars is overflowing with them. Though the events that unfolded a long time ago involve Jedi, clone troopers, bizarre creatures, and many more elements that seem much more exciting than anything happening in our world, there are several takeaways. Star Wars has taught me many important lessons for my life. Here are a few I have learned!
This is a cooler, more complicated way of saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
Even if you’re genetically identical to hundreds of others (which you’re probably not), you are unique. Your beliefs, personality, and struggles aren’t exactly like anyone else’s. Celebrate what makes you special rather than bemoaning being different.
2. Commit to the life you want to live – and live it!
“Do or do not… there is no try.” – Yoda
We can spend our entire lives debating this and that, frozen in fear, fighting uncertainty. However, in life, nothing is certain. We can either waste precious time in limbo or make a decision and stick with it!
If you find yourself in a bad situation or circumstance, do not under any circumstances comment on it. Saying “I have a bad feeling about this” is like saying, “It can’t get any worse.” Trust me, it can.
4. Realize others see the world differently than you do.
Our individual perspective affects the way we interpret the world around us. No one else will see things as you do, and that’s OK. It’s for the best, really. Remember: Just because someone has a certain of point of view that differs from yours doesn’t necessarily mean they’re being dishonest.
5. Every life has value.
If jar jar the bumbling idiot that he was, was able to find his way and play a part in shaping the future of the entire galaxy. Then Each and every human being is playing his or her part in this universe, wether big or small, we all matter!
Fear cripples us from doing what needs to be done. It prevents us from becoming the people we’re meant to be. It isolates us from others and makes us scared of those we do not understand. Historically speaking, fear has fueled many wars, genocides, persecutions, and riots. Inner demons are the hardest kind to battle because they never go away. You’ll always carry fear and worry with you, but you can control how the emotions affect you. Pro tip: Don’t let them drive you to becoming a Sith Lord. Clearly, Yoda was onto something.
7. All things are true … “from a certain point of view”.
This is what Obi-Wan tells Luke when asked why he didn’t reveal the truth about Darth Vader. But truth is a delicate and malleable thing: Is Luke Skywalker a freedom fighter or a terrorist? I guess it depends on what side of the Death Star you happen to be on when he blows it up. Each and everyone of us has a certain view point, “right” and “wrong” do not stand subject to universal truth conditions at all; rather, they are relative to the traditions, convictions, or practices of an individual or a group of people. My hope is that we would all listen and try to understand another more.
8. Jedi mind tricks come in handy.
This is something I use on a day-to-day basis. Jedi’s taught us that strength is beyond that of physical power, but also found in the power of our minds. “These are not the droids you’re looking for”. The power of suggestion. Not every battle needs to be fought with a lightsaber.
One of the most important lesson that Star Wars teaches us is that there is a hero and villain in each one of us. The ever present theme throughout Star Wars is the presence of a good force and an evil force. The light side and the dark side. Right vs. wrong. Hey, sounds a lot like life, right? Figuring out what to do in tricky situations where you have a choice between doing the right thing and doing the wrong thing, is always the toughest choice we have in this life.
Star Wars, thank you for teaching me that even though it isn’t always the easiest choice, honesty, truth, and virtue are worth the sacrifice. There is goodness us all!