Saturday, June 25, 2005

Jedi Family

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To be Jedi in the Star Wars movies, was to be Jedi as your family. You left your parents behind to be trained, and you were not allowed to marry. This was Lucas’ method to create the tension behind Anikin Skywalker, and his eventual turn to the Dark Side. In real life however, things are a bit better, though much more complex.

The fundamental unit of relationships for humans begins with family. We are born to a mother, hopefully also to a father on hand, and by the time an infant can speak as a small schild, his or her first word is very often ‘Mommy’ or ‘Daddy’. The presence of brothers and sisters creates an initial community and social order. Biologically and psycholigically, the family is the indispensible unit.

The absence of key elements in the social order has undeniable consequences. By far, children who grow up missing Mom or Dad suffer academically, financially, and in personal judgment. And the most important element missing in failed marriages is often the commitment to make it work when it’s not new and exciting anymore. This is where Jedi matters.

The Jedi is disciplined, sure. But the Jedi knows why something is important, and how to decide between competing interests and desires. The Jedi plans for the long-term, and does not make a commitment lightly, because he is bound by his word far more than most people. Every relationship for a Jedi, is one where he must have unfailing integrity. A Jedi may marry, certainly, but only if he is sure he will stay with the marriage, come what may. Divorce may be an option for normal people, but it must be forsworn by Jedi.

And that brings us to the children. There is no greater blessing than children. To have a child brings great responsibility, however. If a Jedi must be commited to a marriage for as long as he lives, he must be committed to his child’s welfare for even after he dies, for his child’s life to come. Not just financially, but in every respect that can be addressed.

This is not to say that a parent must control the child; not at all. Over-protected children can suffer as well as children who are neglected, though obviously in different ways. It is impossible to write a guide or set of rules which will apply perfectly to every child’s condition or identity, but a parent should be careful to note the child’s strengths and areas to work on, and must build a strong relationship with their child. The Jedi will invest more in his child than in any other person; this is not only the way to fulfillment for the Jedi, but also for the child and to promulgate Jedi into the next generation.

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