CORE ETHICS LESSON 9

Action– A Jedi recognizes that there are times when getting involved with a situation is against the will of the person they are seeking to assist, or that helping them may be more detrimental in the long run. Conversely, they also recognize that there are times where their actions, though needed, will have negative repercussions. As such, a Jedi seeks inner wisdom to determine when to act and when not to act.

The Core Ethics have a great deal to do with how we act in various situations. Action is probably the most difficult of the Core Ethics, because it requires us to learn restraint. We have to exercise the need for balancing other areas of the Jedi Compass – some of which we haven’t breached yet, such as Positive-Regard under Virtues.

The balancing act of Action is perhaps most developed in the Prequels. In Episode 1, we find ourselves on a planet where slavery is abundant. We are led to believe that the Jedi are not fond of Slavery, but there really isn’t much they can do about it. Unfortunately, Tatooine is outside the Republic’s jurisdiction, and the Jedi are meant to serve the Republic alone.

At first, this seems rather ridiculous. The Jedi are pretty much seen as an all-powerful force unto themselves. They could probably liberate everyone….but that’s not the mission of Qui-Gon, Amidala or Obi-Wan.

Let’s switch gears a bit and draw you to another modern mythos- Rise of the Shield Hero. It’s an Anime, and if you haven’t watched it hopefully I can help make sense of a particular couple of scenarios that come up:

  1. The Sword Hero Kills the Dragon – Thinking that he’s doing the community below a favor, the Sword Hero kills off a Dragon but leaves the carcass where it lay. Our main protagonist, the Shield Hero, comes to the aide of the village after discovering there is a sickness spreading amongst the community. While he is able to temporarily relieve the symptoms, it doesn’t negate the problem- which is the Dragon’s Carcass. In order to clean up the recklessness of the Sword Hero, he and his party set off to get rid of the Dragon once and for all. Later on, when the Shield Hero confronts the Sword Hero, the Sword Hero at first takes this harsh criticism as just a way for the Shield Hero to simply ridicule him. He doesn’t believe it, until later after he visits the village and faces the truth of what he did.
  2. The second one is the problem created by the Bow Hero, which is probably more relatable to the reason why it would have been bad in Episode 1 to pursue liberating Tatooine. The Bow Hero seeks to liberate a village from a corrupt leader- and in the vacuum left a new government arises and imposes unmanageable taxes to try and rebuild an already damaged town. Again, the Shield Hero points out to the Bow Hero that his recklessness left the people in shambles, and created a refugee crisis which barely had anything to barter for food.

The 4 Cardinal Heroes came into a world where they seemed to operate on MMORPG (Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) rules. But the real world doesn’t operate like that. The Shield Hero seems to be the only one that recognizes the world they have come to is a real world and needs to be treated with the same way you would navigate the real world….you know, with cool super powers.

But even then, the powers he has, he recognizes can only carry him so far. Which is the crux of the point- the Jedi in Star Wars were aware of their limitations, even with the really cool powers they had. This is most apparent in the Prequels, the Original Trilogy and the Sequel (Disney) Trilogy are too focused on Luke and Rey’s storylines to really manifest this point. They stick to the mission they need to get done in order for their storyline to continue. But it’s Qui-Gon’s point that they cannot liberate the entirety of Tatooine because it’s not their mission that really pulls everything together. And it’s something the US Army lives by, as outlined in the Warrior Ethos:

I will always place the mission first.

I will never accept defeat.

I will never quit.

I will never leave a fallen comrade.

The mission wasn’t to liberate Tatooine, it was to return to the Republic and aide Queen Amidala. The Force may have put Anakin in their path so that there would be a storyline to connect with Luke- but it happened in conjunction with a necessity to fulfill the original mission. Taking Anakin with them, Qui-Gon manifests the final line in the Warrior Ethos: Never leave a fallen comrade. Now, to be fair, at the the time he wasn’t fallen (we’re not going to get into the weeds with this XD). But he was a comrade, and to leave him with Watto would have led to a life that wouldn’t be of benefit to him or his mother.

 

ASSIGNMENT

What mission do you feel the Force has set you on? What “side-missions” have you given yourself which have detracted from the mission the Force has given you? And are there any side missions that you may have been on which have damaged people around you unintentionally?  Your answer must be a minimum of 250 words.

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