May the force be with us all

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Set against a beautiful backdrop, George Lucas talked about creating “Star Wars,” describing how he came up with characters’ names, how Joseph Campbell’s work influenced him and the challenges he faced on the road to following his dream.

The interviewer, Oprah Winfrey, mentioned that other moviemakers and actors said Lucas changed moviemaking with the production of “Star Wars,” and she said the story touched audiences. Then she asked him about his personal experience, how he felt about seeing “Star Wars” and its impact.

His answer was not what I expected and something that made me think.

Lucas said he couldn‘t answer a question about the impact of seeing “Star Wars” because he never saw it. For a minute, I was confused. How could he say he never saw “Star Wars” when he is the one who made “Star Wars?” Oprah looked equally confused.

Suddenly, I understood what he meant. I suppose you’d say I had an Oprah, Aaa haa moment about the same time she did.

He could not comment on the experience of seeing the movies he made because he could not be a first-time viewer. Someone seeing a movie has a different perspective from the person who brought it to life.

Lucas couldn‘t “see“ “Star Wars” because he was too close to it. He could only know it as creator not as someone seeing it for the first time. How interesting, I thought and I wondered how this insight applied to me, to all of us.

Then it occurred to me that things appear the way they do because I am looking at them from inside my own experience. Someone else’s experience might not match mine.

I once read that it is like we all walk around wearing sunglasses, but the glasses each have different colored lenses. Mine are blue. Yours are red. Another person’s are green.

Therefore, if I describe what the world looks like through my blue lenses, you will never understand what I’m saying because you see the world through a tint of red. We can’t see it the same no matter how hard we try.

I remembered a line from a poem by the mystic poet, Rumi that says basically the same thing from a different angle.

“Those who work at a bakery do not know the taste of bread like the hungry beggars do.”

Rumi’s bakers probably didn‘t want the bread anywhere close to the way the beggars wanted a bite. Kind of like Lucas not seeing his movie.

So how does this apply to me living my life? Well, I think it is a good idea to realize that I don’t see the my life the same way that someone not living it does. By the same token, I see other people’s lives from the outside looking in. I don’t taste the bread like the hungry beggar if I’m the baker.

Might there be a little less judgment, a little more tolerance and whole lot less of a need to prove that how I see things is the right way if I understand my way is not the only way of seeing.

These thoughts thanks to a George Lucas comment. Wow. So I guess I’ll close with a paraphrase of another Lucas quote as I continue making this movie I call my life.

“May the force be with me.”