Are We Paying Attention?
When we hear the word corruption images fill our heads. Images of things such as dirty cops, political scandals, and shady government activity. Images that by-in-large are grand and complicated. While true examples of corruption, these images keep us from seeing corruption in our everyday lives. That doughnut, that we shouldn't have had, that we sneaked on the way home. That wink when our significant other wasn't looking. Watching just one more episode on Netflix. Picking someone because of social preference rather than merit. Corruption doesn't need some grand conspiracy. Its fingers reach into our own lives, tainting ourselves and those around us.
We must remain mindful of ourselves and the consequences of our actions. Charles Dickens wrote it the best in “A Christmas Carol”. We all know the scene when old Jacob Marley comes to haunt Scrooge. He says “I wear the chain I forged in life. I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.” Too often do we blindly make choices that seem convenient at the time or that satisfies us in some way or makes someone happy that we care about. The consequences of these actions rippling out without notice.
Our focus is quick when faced with a choice. With laser precision we make our choice without much thought beyond the immediate now. The choice seems like the right choice at the time. There are good intentions in our acts. Yet our acts can be like the gift presented to Troy during the Greeks feint retreat. Enticing and beautiful. While unknown to us, swirling beneath the superficial layers of now, lay a fate far darker.
We have great power in our actions. We can make a difference in ourselves and for those around us. We have influence that we often underestimate. How many eyes are on us that we are unaware of? Who have you helped? Who have you checked on or chatted with? Who cares about you? Now who cares about them? Who is watching them? Who would be affected by a change in them? With great power comes great responsibility and as Jedi we need to own that responsibility. We need to be better and rise above our egos. We can't let emotions turn us into an agent of putrefaction. As Jedi we should edify. Our actions should better the world.
Fear of failing shouldn't stop us. All of us are going to continue to make mistakes. There is no avoiding that. No more than we can avoid the suns rise. What we can do is pay attention. Observe our influence. Learn from our mistakes. Make the right choices with the right mindset. We are an amazing group of individuals that spans an incomprehensible canvas of lifestyles. If we can make the right choices who knows how much good we can create. How much we can touch and inspire. It'll take strength. It'll take discipline. It will require integrity. May the Force be with us all.