May The Force Be With You

Issue 79

Return of the Jedi is an incredible movie. It was also one of my earliest claims to fame. My younger brother, who was close friends at the time with Anthony McPartlin - one half of Ant & Dec - had been invited to his birthday party and to watch the movie. As my brother was only eight, my mother insisted I chaperone him. Which was great fun for me. Probably not so much for my brother.

Ever since I can remember I have been a Star Wars fan, from watching the very first movie back in the late 1970’s to the more recent spin offs. Each one showcasing and illustrating the power of hope, faith and love. The story of good vs evil. A force that connects each and every one of us. Something akin to religion. In April over four billion of the world’s population celebrated a significant religious occasion. From the Christian Easter, Sikh Vaisakhi, Jewish Passover to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Over 50% of people living on earth celebrated their blind faith. Personally, I recognise, respect and rejoice all religions. For me they offer a moral compass. A code of conduct. A sense of common purpose. Interpreted correctly, I believe religion encourages everyone to love and support one another. There is a place and space for anyone within religion, you just need to have hope and faith.

It doesn’t matter what colour, gender, or how able or less-abled you are, you can practice a religion. In parallel, I fully respect and appreciate all of us who don’t want to subscribe to a religious belief.

Choosing and following a religion should be a choice. Equally being part of the Dark side or Light side of the Force is a choice – which interestingly a number of people done so in 2001 by recording their religion as Jediism on the National Census. There are even examples of Darth Vader being both, flitting between, but ultimately coming back to the Light side.

The point is that we can learn much from both religion and Star Wars and apply this learning to our business or daily lives: Hope is my Vision – Knowing there is something great out there and setting a Big Hairy Audacious Goal.

Faith is my Mission – Believing in myself and the ability to achieve my goal. Love is my Value(s) – Ensuring care and compassion for everyone on my journey, regardless of the trials and tribulations.

Over Easter I managed to celebrate all of the major religious events, especially where food was concerned. Being invited to open a fast at a close friend’s house, enjoying fish and chips with the inlaws on Good Friday, devouring Easter Eggs with the kids on Easter Sunday, enjoying a traditional Sikh meal and celebrating the end of Passover with some Jewish friends.

If we were to simply look past all of the negative aspects, sadly associated with the religion and people’s beliefs, we have far more in common and to celebrate, than what drives us apart. So, let’s all share some hope, faith and love as we celebrate the story of Star Wars on May the 4th. And May the Force be with You.

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