How do you give back to the community? Some of us organize things, some of us create and share our skills, and some of us participate and learn. But the most important thing a Jedi has to offer is the feeling of community.
Recently I was at work and had just hit a wall in my productivity. You know the feeling; you have things to do, places to be, but… nothing seems to be getting done.
So I switched gears. I thought; what else can I do? What else am I good at? So I talked to people. I reached out to a friend who was having a hard time. I let a couple people vent to me. I asked around the office if there were things my coworkers needed from me. Not only did a get a break from my desk and the unproductive activity of bashing my brain against my current task list, but I actually helped some people. Not only was I more alert and motivated, but so were others.
The Jedi community is intense. We all feel strongly about our path, and it demands a lot from us, no matter the specifics of our distinctive journeys. Burnout happens frequently, and people will disappear from the community for months or years at a time.
But the feeling of having another Jedi, someone who understands why this absurd thing called Jedi is important to you, there to listen and advise is irreplaceable and precious. Even when the community as a whole is stressful, difficult, conflicted, or even downright infuriating, we need other Jedi to help bolster us on our way. Despite the variety available on the Jedi path, it is a precarious road, and support is vital for the longterm health of our individual and communal practices.
So this winter, when all of us are low on energy, sunlight, and overwhelmed by family and other commitments, check in on your fellow Jedi. Ask a newbie how they’re doing. Bother a friend about their latest project. Laugh with a fellow Jedi, just to lift the stress and difficulties of being a human, and the responsibilities of being a Jedi just for a moment.
We Jedi are guardians of peace in the galaxy, but first of all, we must care for eachother.