DO OR DO NOT
I’m a big fan of Yoda from Star Wars. What could be better than a little guy you can carry on your back who will challenge your every thought and feeling? In a pinch, you can use him to fight off any evil that tries to thwart your best efforts at living! Or is that Jiminy Cricket? Nevermind.
Yoda is most famous for the line, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
See what I mean? However, I think a more poignant line comes in The Phantom Menace. Watch the episode and see for yourself.
Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.
Great words Yoda…but seriously…how do we avoid living in fear? It seems hard to do, doesn’t it?
LISTEN. UNDERSTAND. EMPATHIZE. LOVE.
Here’s a quick answer…Love. True love casts out fear. Love and fear can’t exist in the same space in your mind, which leads us to the next question.
In a world full of negativity and hate, how do we love well?
Maybe Yoda would say it like this:
Listening leads to understanding. Understanding leads to empathy. Empathy leads to love.
Love can change the world. Love has the power to heal hatred; inspire forgiveness; promote feelings of acceptance and security; and build self-esteem.
Love can build a world of peace.
LOVE CAN BUILD A WORLD OF PEACE
Recently, a “pastor” in Knoxville preached from a perspective of fear and hate, promoting suffering against the LGBTQ community. Even worse, he did so using God as his voice. God, our source of perfect love. People like this disgust me.
For more on this story, read this article: https://www.wate.com/news/local-news/pastor-kcso-deputy-who-called-for-execution-of-lgbt-persons-no-longer-on-active-duty-/2072160807
I wonder what would happen if he had attempted to listen to some stories from the LGBTQ community. Perhaps he might have been able to understand and empathize. Perhaps his church would learn to love more effectively. And perhaps these types of stories would cease to exist. Perhaps peace would prevail.
Perhaps I should attempt to listen to his story…
Peace on earth and peace for individuals. Emotional and mental rest for all who choose love over fear. Peace? Yes, it seems idealistic.
But how will we know until we try?
GIVE IT A TRY
So try carrying Yoda with you on your back and start listening to others’ stories. Work to understand why they believe what they believe and behave the way they behave. Empathize before you try to fix their theology, philosophy, political views, and other beliefs.
See if the fear you hold for others might cease. The fear and anxiety within you might calm. The suffering around you might cease. Love will take its place. See if you might usher in a little peace in your own life and the lives of those around you.
Give it a try.
Wait…Do…There is no try.