Star Wars: A New Hope
I believe in Star Wars. Not that it actually took place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Not in the religious sense that some fanatics have adopted either. I believe in how it has echoed through the generations, offered me valuable wisdom, and how it has brought me great joy throughout my life. By observing the way of the Jedi in Star Wars, I have adopted many of their morals and values such as patience, awareness, and the control of one’s emotions. The Jedi were my greatest heroes as a child, and I believe that by following their example I have become a better person.
For those who have no idea what Star Wars is, however few that may be, I will briefly explain. Star Wars is a film series that originated in 1977 from the mind of George Lucas; even though it started over thirty years ago, Star Wars has survived and even thrived with the latest film released in 2005. Star Wars involves a timeless conflict between good and evil that takes place in a distant galaxy far before we existed. The Jedi and the Sith are the main characters in this war, and the Force is at the center of the conflict. According to Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” The beings that can sense and wield the Force mainly consist of either Jedi or Sith.
The Sith are associated with the Dark side of the Force. Their only goal in life is power; because of this reason, only two Sith, a master and an apprentice, exist at a time. Unlike the Jedi, the Sith use their passion as the source of their strength by acting on impulses and releasing their anger.
The Jedi, associated with the Light side, are the guardians of the galaxy and maintain balance and peace in the Universe. The Jedi can be illustrated by their Jedi code: “There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is harmony. There is no death, there is the Force.”
This Jedi code lies at the heart of all Jedi and has contributed to my core beliefs as well. A Jedi is the epitome of the kind of person I strive to be. I try to follow the ways of the Jedi as listed in the code, for example their sense of responsibility to serve the common good. The Jedi use their power only for the defense and protection of the Universe; instead of creating order by control, the Jedi serve the Universe separate from society’s governments. The Jedi also respect all life and acknowledge the importance of every event and being, no matter how insignificant they may appear. Everything is connected, and thus there is purpose in every event. Jedi see failure and disaster as just inevitable stepping stones on the path to peace and harmony. In this sense, neither do the Jedi dwell on the past or fear approaching doom. As the wise Jedi Master Yoda said:
Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into
the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not. Attachment leads to jealousy.
The shadow of greed, that is. Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger.
Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.
This view on life has helped me get through several tragedies and disappointments in my life, from sitting on the bench for a chunk of senior year on my high school soccer team to coping with my parents’ divorce. Instead of stewing over these past events, I focused on the present and carried on. By practicing this philosophy, I have become a happier person. I do not let trivial matters nag at me anymore (at least I try not to let them.) A Jedi is able to control their emotions; they do not ignore them, but simply try to understand and willingly overcome their primal urges. Perhaps the most detrimental of these instinctual feelings is anger. Giving in to one’s anger is one of the first steps to the Dark side – the way of the Sith. One can easily sway to the persuasive path of the Dark side; the Dark side is often the quickest and easiest way to achieve one’s means and can lead to many bad deeds.
But who decides what is good and what is bad? The Sith claim to strive for peace and order in the Universe, the same as the Jedi. The idea of what is good or bad merely depends on which side you are viewing the world from. But I agree with how Master Yoda answers this puzzle: “You will know when you are calm, at peace, passive.” When one is at peace and calm, they tend to have much better judgment than one whose mind is clouded by anger.
For example, my friend’s roommate down the hall doesn’t like me at all and never fails to imply it. No matter what I say, he manages to turn it against me. I do not enjoy his company either, so I may occasionally throw a few remarks his way. We have known each other for a couple of years and hang out with the same group of friends, and friends should be able to joke around with each other. But he takes my comments personal and either crossly ridicules me with a flavorless joke – he holds an amazing talent for making witty, impromptu jokes – or he lets out a strained sigh that I interpret as, “I’m the best and will not even dignify you with a response.” However I do not let his fuming clouds of irascibility throw shade over my serenity. Nor do I allow the Dark side to creep in and poison my thoughts with promises of revenge.
But I also have my moments when I am not strong enough to deny the Dark side of my mind. Many of the mistakes I make could be prevented if I just took a few moments to settle down and consider a situation with an open mind. However, thinking over a situation may not always yield a result worthy of a Jedi. People have varying inherent views even when they are calm. Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi once said, “You’ll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our point of view.” The only thing one can do is follow his or her own path, and teach by example.
Ideally, my path coincides with the Light side and the Jedi who will continue to be my heroes. By following the way of the Jedi I have become not only a better person but also a much happier one. I will continue to follow their philosophy and spread their beneficial message. I am truly amazed at how events that took place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away can apply so well to a world such as ours.
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