Right now, we squint at the world through muck-smeared glasses, tricked and distracted by actions and motives that don't quite match. In a week that sees thousands of gallons of oil gushing into the deep blue sea and turning it black, Russian's Vladimir Putin calls for a clean-up of Arctic waste while keeping his hands warm in the chill air by rubbing them together in barely disguised glee at the prospect of strategic military development in the area.
Compare this motivation with the Indigenous People's Declaration at the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the rights of Mother Earth:
”Mother Earth is a living being in the universe that concentrates energy and life, while giving shelter and life to all without asking anything in return, she is the past, present and future... we have lived in coexistence with her for thousands of years, with our wisdom and cosmic spirituality linked to nature...the aggression towards Mother Earth and the repeated assaults and violations against our soils, air, forests, rivers, lakes, biodiversity, and the cosmos are assaults against us.“
UK political parties scramble over each other in a frantic struggle for leadership, throwing promises around like confetti and hoping they stick to as many passing people as it takes to secure their ability to seize power and then change their minds. As ever-increasing layers of spin and bluster choke the airways of integrity, we begin to lose sight of the goal of democracy: that of acting for the good of the people. In Thailand, there is no such confusion and the broken bodies of thousands of downtrodden citizens lie bleeding in protest at a government that rode to power on the backs of the military and the financial elite.
There is a marked contrast between the socially-acceptable face of world justice and the bruised features of its less-developed cousin. In an effort to make themselves more “respectable”, people are in danger of becoming blind to the needs of the living Force, embodied by our planet and all that live in its embrace. As Jedi, we must strive to rid our eyes of the cataracts of confusion and open our hearts to the suffering of all things. When our motivations and desires serve the greater good, there is no longer a need for lies and subterfuge.
The Jedi way is that of toleration and understanding; not only of the differences that make us unique but also of the similarities that bind us together. Sadly, it seems that this viewpoint is being rejected in the worlds by an ever-increasing desire to maintain cultural borders and to shut out anyone that differs. Arizona's immigration law threatens to turn it from the Copper State to the Police State as the UK's Prime Minister dismisses casual enquiries about immigration as “bigoted”: two contrasting approaches to the same inability to listen and understand.
The powers of the West threaten to impose peace on the Middle East through the use of force. European nations wish to ban burkhas and restrict the freedom of religious expression, all in the name of increased civil liberties. The hypocrisy inherent in such actions are obvious and ridiculous: read (or re-read) The Book and see that Watts agrees. The problems imposed by dogma and intolerance reverberate throughout the world: as the emissary of a major world religion, the Pope should be inspiring and uplifting the people, not motivating them to call for his arrest!
Be mindful of your thoughts and see through the fictions that we weave to keep ourselves from the truth. Open your heart to the love and empathy that is so desperately needed all around the world. Trust in your intuition and the Force will guide your hand in righting wrongs and fighting injustice as a peaceful warrior. As Gandhi once said: “be the change you want to see in the world”. Being a Jedi means to hold a vision of clarity, truth, justice and compassion and to embody those principles in your every word and deed. My greatest hope is that one day all people will want this too.