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Revisiting Yoda’s ‘Do or Do Not’ Philosophy: A Philosophical Debate on the Pursuit of Excellence



Reflecting on the philosophical musings of Jedi Master Yoda from the renowned Star Wars franchise, a new debate emerges on the pursuit of excellence and the importance of effort and intention.

Yoda’s famous proclamation in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ that ‘there is no try, do or do not’ is challenged, sparking a dialogue on the nuances between attempting and achieving.

Treating May 4th with a playful twist, parents and children engage in discussions that evoke Yoda’s teachings, leading to a reevaluation of the ‘try’ ethos in daily endeavors.

The interaction between children echoing the spirit of learning and attempting to do ‘good great’ mirrors the exchange between Luke Skywalker and Yoda in the iconic movie scene.

Delving deeper, parallels are drawn between Yoda’s philosophy and the authoritative commands in Christian teachings, prompting reflections on the ways of faith and action.

While Jesus’ decrees emphasize direct action, such as loving one’s neighbor and following specific directives, Yoda’s ‘try not’ ideology clashes with the nuances of spiritual progress and intentions in daily practices.

Amidst discussions on progress rather than perfection, St. Vincent de Paul’s insightful words that ‘doing good must be done well’ resonate, subtly challenging the absoluteness of Yoda’s doctrine.

As children navigate the intricacies of learning and growing, the dialogue transcends the cinematic realm to real-life applications of striving for excellence with integrity and grace.

Ultimately, the age-old wisdom of the Beatitudes underscores the journey of striving for spiritual virtues, acknowledging that while perfection may be unattainable, steadfast efforts and forgiveness pave the path to living out Gospel values.

In the realm of philosophical discourses, the legacy of Yoda’s teaching remains a catalyst for introspection and dialogue on the intersection of action, intention, and the pursuit of excellence.

Rachel Adams

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