Quiz: Mulder and Scully vs. Lois and Clark in an easter egg hunt in Mordor. Who finds the most?


Fear and Love Part II

Sometimes we make decisions because we are afraid to lose what we have. I learned that from Star Wars.

Anakin Skywalker, a Jedi Knight, was in love with Padme. She was everything to him. When he was younger, she had reached out to him. Later, when he had grown, their relationship developed into a romance. Padme continued to reach out, and Anakin struggled.

He had lost his mother to a murderous group of aliens on his home planet. There were warnings, though--nightmares and visions--that he had received through the Force. But he had not been quick or strong enough to act on those warnings and save his mother. At least, that's how he felt.

Now he was having the nightmares again, but this time they were about Padme. He was afraid that she was going to die, that he was going to lose her. And this time, he promised himself and Padme he would do everything in his power as a Jedi to keep her from dying.

Ultimately, the only way he thought he could save her was by betraying his Jedi oath, turning to the Dark Side of the Force and using its power. What motivated him to turn on his principles and do something he knew Padme would not want him to do? Was it love? Was it fear? Is there a difference?

Anakin's decision was more made out of fear than love. He did not turn to the Dark Side in order to save Padme--he turned to the Dark Side in order to keep himself from losing her.

"Just help me save Padme. I can't live without her," he tells Darth Sidious. This sounds strikingly like a man who loves a woman deeply. How can this decision be made out of fear? It's clear from one clue: he made it alone. Love is collaborative. Fear is solitary.

When we make decisions in order not to lose something or someone, we are not acting out of love. At least, it is not purely a loving action. Fear is part of it. Fear is most of it. And if Anakin is any example, it usually ends up in disaster.

Unless you want to have asthma and sound like James Earl Jones. Then it might be cool.