In the California Jedi Knighting Standards, the core knowledge is broken down into the five areas of wellness, originally taken from The Jedi Circle. These are Physical Wellness, Emotional Wellness, Intellectual Wellness, Social Wellness, and Spiritual Wellness.
Although community is always an advantage, four of the five areas of wellness can be pursued in a solo fashion. But the fourth area of wellness, Social Wellness depends on a Jedi’s interaction and cultivation of a social circle. To be a Jedi of quality, one has to have healthy interactions with those around them, and be true to a principled life that the Jedi Path requires.
What is the Jedi principle behind Social Wellness? I believe it has to do with connection. All things are interconnected and interdependent, and our connection to those around us is one way in which the Force is made manifest. A Jedi of quality will comport themselves in such a way to facilitate a good connection with those around them, and to be the kind of person others want to connect with.
Like the other areas of wellness, Social Wellness does not happen without effort. It is something that actively has to be cultivated and maintained. If you are seeking Knighthood, it is an area of your life that you will have to show growth in. Like anything, it is something one can get better at with time and training, in this case, entering into relationships mindfully, and maintaining them in a conscious manner instead of just letting things skate by, as if they will take care of themselves. Social Wellness includes active participation within your social circles and community.
Another part of Social Wellness is incorporating your path into your social interactions. It is not enough that your friends, family, and co-workers know that you are a Jedi, you must be demonstrative of the qualities a good Jedi should have. Remember, being a Jedi while a path of self-improvement is not about making yourself better for improvement’s sake, it is for making the world a better place. We should start by enriching the lives of those in our immediate sphere of influence, those closest to us. A demonstration of Social Wellness is how well one juggles work, relationships, and the Jedi lifestyle.
Those around you should be able to perceive your seriousness of walking the Jedi Path while at the same time being able to do so with a light heart and good humor. Dedication to the Jedi Path should be serious, but not at the detriment of being able to relate and interact with those around you. In the mythology, Yoda often would make a point or expound on some Jedi wisdom with a joke. We should take the Jedi Path seriously, but not at the expense of not being able to laugh at the things that deserve being laughed about. I guess what I am saying is that one should be a good Jedi but avoid zealotry about it. We don’t want the path to be a barrier to good friendships and relationships, and part of Social Wellness is allowing Jedi philosophy to inform our interactions in a healthy, supportive manner.
All five Areas of Wellness are important, and it is important to find a balance among them, not focusing so heavy on one that we neglect the other four. There will of course be times when one or two Areas of Wellness need a bit more work and attention and that is fine. One of the wonderful things about Social Wellness is that since it is about connection and community, cultivating this can bring about support to help with the other four. Our path is individual, but we do not have to walk it alone.