I have been watching the Jedi community now for about six years, and I have seen a wide range of Jedi and those who call themselves Jedi. I have called myself a Jedi. I still do. But what makes a Jedi? What differentiates a common muck human as a Jedi? Is that an elevation? Or it is a choice of servanthood? What makes a Jedi? Is it the way they talk, the way they dress, the way they visit certain online communities, is it just using “Star Wars talk,” or is it taking what you are and becoming something more, something better? What makes a Jedi?
What is my own definition? What makes me a Jedi? What is a Jedi? Well, I will tell you how I came to be on this path and what I have learned since. I first heard the word “Jedi” in 1977 when everyone else did. But I started to see being a Jedi as a viable option after Episode I. It was then that I began to emulate what I had seen on the screen. I began to seek the peace and focus of the Jedi Knight.
None of that made me a Jedi. I learned quickly that I had to be a Jedi offline as well as online, that being a Jedi involved a lot of self-searching and making changes within. I cannot play Jedi online and not be Jedi offline. Since it was the focus and determination that I wanted I sought how to make them mine.
I stumbled…a lot. I made major mistakes. I pissed off a lot of people. But I learned, and I think I showed my continuing learning curve. I diligently sought out resources like a thirsty soul seeks water. Over the years I have tried many things, but the only thing that really worked was honesty and perseverance. I added those things to me that I liked, and I continue to purge myself of those things I could do without.
But still, what makes a Jedi? This is my own definition, not canon, and is not to be taken as my expectations of anyone else. What makes a Jedi? A Jedi is first and foremost a servant. They serve the Force, the world, the “Temple and the Council,” and finally themselves. They serve out of choice, not because they are any less than any of those entities, but being a Jedi is a life of service. A Jedi is a student, not just once, but always. I seek to learn new things all the time. Whether they relate to my job, or my life as a Jedi, or out of interest and compassion for someone else. I seek peace. Not just within but without. If I am wrong, I say so and I apologize and make amends. I do not let today be eaten up by things I did yesterday; I clear the boards before I sleep. I live in today, because I chose not to waste today with resentments from the past or dreams or silliness: yesterday is gone. I do not forget, but there is no point on dwelling in the past. I live today. I try to live each moment to the hilt, and I remain present. I do not trouble about tomorrow because it is not here. I expect no ill, predicted or otherwise, about tomorrow, and I plan for tomorrow without getting caught in the trap of prethought. Tomorrow will come with its own challenges and blessings, but it is not here today. I am mindful and I seek to increase my mindfulness. I am aware and awake. I allow the Force to flow through me, telling me things it needs to tell me and filling me with life and energy. I do not take that into myself and keep it; I allow it to leave without connection or attachment. Where that came from there is more there. I am flexible. If something happens to complicate my life or inconvenience me, I let it happen. It is there for a reason, and I accept it. “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.” I am loving. This is something I struggle with but I am learning. I am open-minded. I do not cling to one idea, and this is something I am also working on. Some of my attitudes and thoughts I am very attached to, and I need to grow more here. I am positive, annoyingly so to some who see my eternal search for the silver lining as a need to not live in reality. I see it as not letting life overcome me. I do not cling to anger or resentment. If you hurt me yesterday that was yesterday or two minutes ago. There is too much in the present moment to be bothered holding onto pain. Unless I like holding on to pain, which sometimes I do. I am quiet in my heart. I do not seek out drama. I do not get involved in others’ dramas, and I do not surround myself with those who cling to drama. There is enough drama in the world without my adding to it. I listen to music at lower levels because I want my ears to be sensitive when I am eighty-years-old or so. I am gentle with myself today. I give as much time to myself as I do to others, not in a self-seeking way, but in a loving way. I am a listener. If you need an ear, I have two. I love and I am loved.
This is a small part of what being a Jedi is to me. It is a life that I live offline, more than I live on. I admire and love those who have taught and continue to teach me. I appreciate that I have what so many do not know or cannot find. I am a Jedi, and it has nothing to do with being a hero, or being on a pedestal, or being powerful and great. I am a Jedi because I am a servant, because I want to leave the world a better place than when I found it, because it is my heart’s cry and my fervent desire. I am a Jedi in heart, mind. and body. That is what makes a Jedi to me.
—Kir-wan Queren, Jedi Knight