Written by Dan Grevious.
What does it mean to be a Jedi? Of all the questions that can be asked, I tend to hear this one the most. There is no solid definition of what it means to be a Jedi. As such the real question is what does it mean for you to be a jedi? Many of us fancy wearing robes, carrying a lightsaber, or correcting the major injustices of the world. In truth we just aren’t there yet.
For me being a Jedi is a very simple thing. I strive purposefully, every day to live in such a way that others will see the beauty of the Force through me. It’s not enough to make a difference in the world. We must be the difference in the world, an uncompromising beacon of light that spreads love, kindness and healing to everything we touch in our lives. It may sound like a tall order but when you think “what can I do?” the only answer is “make it better”. In everything we do we must make the smallest improvements in not only our lives but the lives of others.
This is not to say that a Jedi must be willing to face down evil with stoic resolve. It’s not that dramatic. By giving someone a kind ear, help that you are able to provide (comfortably, and safely) or use yourself as an example to help dispel hate and apathy you are acting as a Jedi should. Even something as small as pointing someone in the right direction or getting them access to emergency services goes a long way in furthering you on your path as a Jedi.
The most important things I can think of for a Jedi is to keep an open yet discerning mind (almost everything has more than one meaning, or context) and an open heart. There is no place on this path for sustained fear. Fear is a choice. But we must be mindful because it is a sneaky choice. Know that it is fearful of itself and will hide within you. It is often seen shrouded in lies and wears a mask of anger or hostility. In our youth, during the process of growing up many of us are taught by our elders to be afraid. Whether it’s authority, social norms, consequences of actions or merely results we have been taught by those we held as role models to harbor a certain form, or amount of fear.
When I was a boy I was taught to fear consequences. I believe now that I was being taught to be mindful of consequences but as a child I had difficulty differentiating between mindfulness and fear. Some time ago I woke up and realized that I was afraid. In examining my fears and their causes I found that many of the things I feared were irrational and unwarranted. I found the solution to my dilemma to be quite simple and rather enjoyable. I decided to stop being afraid. It is work but it’s fun, and while there are still a few things that I find very distasteful I can’t say that I have a genuine fear of them.
Yoda was right in more ways than one. We must unlearn what we have learned.
Dan Grevious is a professional Jedi. Having been involved in the Jedi community for nearly three years he has been a seeker of knowledge and truth for his entire life. Dan’s career in emergency service has helped him develop his creative thinking skills as well as a healthy, if not irreverent sense of humor. Dan is always willing to lend a hand to someone in need and regards himself as something between a custodian and a gardener. He is open to questions and endeavors to live his life as an example of proactive positivity for others. You can find his musings in various online forums or contact him directly. In his free time Dan likes to avoid writing bios and talking about himself in the third person because he feels it makes him sound douche-ey.
This was a fantastic essay. While I often focus that the Jedi Path is one of constant self-improvement, this reminds me it is only half the equation if we do not as well help improve those in our sphere of influence .
The stuff about fear is spot-on. Fear should rarely be a motivator for one walking the Jedi Path. Especially fear of loss.
Agreed! Awesome essay Dan.
Christopher, what fascinates me about Dan’s take on fear is that he talks about fear of consequences; we do a lot of talking about fear of loss in the community thanks to Anakin’s horrifying example, but I think a lot of Jedi and people let fear freeze them into inaction. We don’t look at ourselves critically because then we’d have to face up to what we see. We don’t start a project because what if we don’t know how to start, or are bad at it, or fail, or even worse try it and don’t get any results? That kind of fear is super common and insidious, because it often masquerades as “foresight” or playing it safe.
Jedi have to be risk takers or we get nowhere. :)
Great essay, Dan! I worked and went to school with Dan for a few years. Even though we have not spoken in person in a while, and live in different areas now, I think or him often. Looking back, I can remember instances where he handled situations like a Jedi walking the path the way he describes it in his essay. He is the real deal. I have tons of respect for this man. I am going to “make it better” tomorrow.