Star Wars teaches us about acceptance and diversity

May the fourth be with you and enjoy revenge of the fifth!

If you’re not a Star Wars fan, I’d bet you’re quite confused by this. If you are a Star Wars fan, such as myself, you’ll understand the reference to “May the Force be with you” and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. May 4 and 5 are considered unofficial Star Wars Days and fans around the world unite in their own celebrations.

Basically, it’s a pride day for fans, one where fans show their passion for the saga that continues to be massively popular today.

As with many things in pop culture, there are many lessons we can learn from Star Wars, a fictional universe. This is a world of many planets and different species and life forms, where being different is OK. Just look at Yoda, the revered Jedi master who was the Grand Master of the Jedi Order. He is an unknown species and he is green. No big deal. It’s just a fact.

This is a lesson we can apply in our lives relating to diversity. Different doesn’t mean bad. In fact, it’s the opposite. What makes us different is what makes us special. I know it’s cliché, but the truth remains. We should embrace diversity and accept everyone with open arms.

Star Wars also teaches us some things about where fear can lead us. As Yoda said in the films, “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” This is the truth of what happened to the infamous villain Darth Vader.

When we are afraid of change, of things we can’t control and of things we don’t understand, which are common aspects of human nature, we start living in fear to guide our actions. Perhaps this is the most important lesson of all, given the current state of the world.

For more on this, see the May 5, 2017 print or online edition of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald.