Over the holidays, our family went to Disney World for the first time. It was a great trip. Tons of rides and character greets. And the kiddo had fun too.
The highlight of the trip was the opportunity to check off a bucket list item…meeting Darth Vader.
It was completely overwhelming and all too realistic. The breathing. The voice. The call to the dark side. It was slightly terrifying and completely awesome.
Most people I know are familiar with my fascination. One of my newer team members, overhearing conversations about the trip, wondered…why do I love Darth Vader?
After all, he’s a villain. He terrorizes his children, kills millions, and has no conscience or signs of remorse.
Exactly. But that’s not how he started.
Darth Vader started out like any of us. A promising child. Moderately whiny teenager (who wasn’t). Skilled employee.
He was highly capable, independent and strong willed. All things you hope for in your rising talent. At least until he was lured to the dark side and turned on his leaders, co-workers and friends.
Darth Vader is a warning of what any of us could become if we feed our fears. All the promise and talent in the world doesn’t mean much if we use it for ill purpose.
It may not be destroying a planet, but there are plenty of smaller scale terrors out there. Envy may lead to gossip and hurt feelings. Fear of losing our position could lead to undermining or demeaning others.
The dark side represents our limitations. When empathy and relationships are replaced by fear and isolation, we are lost.
When we bring our fears into the light – face them and diminish their power – we reject our dark side. We reject those limitations.
Fortunately, Darth Vader’s story is also one of redemption. It is a reminder that, no matter how far afield we may find ourselves, we can always come back to the light.
Today, we can choose to engage others in a positive way. To put aside our fears and embrace the good in us. Because we all have it…no matter how much we may fear otherwise.