Thursday, September 13, 2012

There is No Try

A short post today, I think. Like the individual on my shirt: short in stature, but long in philosophy.

While in Montreal this summer, I got to visit my friend and art-world phenom, Sonny Assu, and his beautiful wife and daughterThe wife and daughter thing are a relatively new state of existence as is his relocation to Montreal from Vancouver. As I was travelling with friend Lesley and her toddler (we took the train up from Kingston, ON), it was a child-centred sort of trip. It was also my first visit to Quebec as an adult (have officially visited all ten provinces now!) and by happy coincidence, the Star Wars: Identities Exhibit was (still is until Sunday) at the Montreal Science Centre.

Sleeve insignia

The exhibit is a super cool, interactive and thought-provoking presentation. It is a discourse on how nature and nurture and life experiences lead to the downfall or ultimate victory of a protagonist. They use Anakin vs. Luke for this discourse. The art (like the Yoda/Dagobah image on the shirt) is really interesting and, again, builds on the question of what compose an individual's personality and drive their actions. Visitors get to create their own Star Wars universe character through a programmable bracelet that saves the data and then spits out the resulting character profile at the end. 
My character was a Wookiee bounty hunter named Tabachacha (you may need to agree to terms and conditions before you get to see the profile page)
My choice of t-shirt was kind of politically-minded. Whether you sign up for the Rebel Alliance or support the Galactic Empire, Yoda is a respected and feared figure. Little guy is both mega in mind and ability. His philosophy of "Do or do not. There is no try" is one that implies that one's commitment, not one's effort, to a deed is key. Without commitment, effort is wasted. When I teach, I actively seek to get this message through. When I am daunted by a task at hand, I try to remember this for myself.

While on the Yoda and t-shirt topic, I might need to start a "Dream T-shirt" category. This would be on the list:

So here's my big thought for the day: It's very interesting the various sources where one can find one's mantra or motto or philosophy. Yoda is an obvious source of wisdom - being all "one with the Force" and all - but there are great life lessons to be gleaned from various books, speeches, lyrics, and TV/movies. 

Anyone want to share their favourites (from any source)?