What would Kenobi do?”

“WWJD” – “What would Jesus do” is too a high bar to set oneself. Let’s face it. Being Jedi is being pragmatic and constantly taking an objective view of life. Jedi understand reality and their own limitations to act. Real world Jedi do not have Jedi powers other than their reasoned choice. Also, some of the virtues Jesus taught such as charity, forgiveness and “turning the other cheek” while noble are not always appropriate for a Jedi. This is not to say that Christian morals and virtues have no place in Jedi philosophy or any other religion for that matter, they do, only when it is realistic and pragmatic. Instead of asking WWJD ask WWKD – “What would Kenobi Do?”.

Kenobi is a good role model to imitate. Kenobi may have been gifted with the Force but he was fallible with faults and shortcomings like any human. On many occasions he showed his vulnerabilities and doubts. Years of war, the loss of loved one’s and the final rift between he and Anakin before a long exile on Tatooine left Kenobi deeply scarred. At the same time his experiences and trials made him more resilient, humble, confident, compassionate, and wise. Life as a Jedi Master was not easy, it was an ordeal and as a result Kenobi was able to overcome himself and eventually transcend to the Force.

Who was Kenobi? What made him tick? Kenobi’s personality traits made him a central figure in the Star Wars universe and a beloved character. The best way to answer the question “WWKD?” is to imitate Kenobi’s character as portrayed in the literature and movies.

Those qualities and virtues are easy to identify. Kenobi was brave, loyal, courageous, wise, intelligent, inspiring, bold, noble, and disciplined. There was also a soft and compassionate side to Kenobi. He could be caring, vulnerable, compassionate, witty and at times playful. Kenobi was an empath who truly cared for others ultimately to his own detriment. At the same time, the Jedi Master never lost sight of the mission and possessed a driven sense of justice and self-discipline. Who else could Yoda truly rely on to quietly watch over Luke for years while remaining hidden from the Empire?

Kenobi represented the archetypes the Sage and the Magician but within him resided all the archetypes fully integrated into his being. At the same time Kenobi was inherently human, he struggled and suffered and made mistakes before he finally surrendered to the Force. It was Kenobi that led Luke to embrace his destiny as the “Chosen One” and embark on the Hero’s Journey.

Seneca said that everyone should have their own Cato. A persona to look up to and emulate as much as possible. Seneca could have suggested a God or a Hero from the epics but he chose a Roman General and a defender of the Republic to serve as an example to Stoics. Someone human, with many virtues but also many faults and failings.

Today, there are few deserving role models to look up to. Kenobi, if no one else, can be that role model. The person who stands by your side and watches on as the silent witness. The one who quietly admonishes whenever you are being dishonest, resentful, lazy, belligerent, dishonest or selfish. A better angel, who in time, you can become and in turn act as an example to others.

If Kenobi is not enough, there is still Jesus.

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