The stories of a galaxy far, far away are filled with nuggets of Jedi-worthy wisdom.
The best stories teach us lessons, and Star Wars is overflowing with them. Though the events that unfolded a long time ago involve Jedi, clone troopers, bizarre creatures, and many more elements that seem much more exciting than anything happening in our world, there are several takeaways. Star Wars has taught us about the importance of friendship, the value of being patient, and the dangers of being afraid. These are ten of the many things we've learned from the saga:
1. Embrace the traits that make you stand apart.
Even if you're genetically identical to hundreds of others (which you're probably not), you are unique. Your beliefs, personality, and struggles aren't exactly like anyone else's. Celebrate what makes you special rather than bemoaning being different.
2. Be loyal to your friends.
The best friends stand by you through thick and thin, happiness and sadness, success and failure. Maintaining friendships involves work, but they are so worth every ounce of sweat and every second of time invested. Ask yourself: Would you risk your life to help your friends destroy a Death Star?
3. Realize others see the world differently than you do.
Our individual perspective affects the way we interpret the world around us. No one else will see things as you do, and that's OK. It's for the best, really. Remember: Just because someone has a certain of point of view that differs from yours doesn't necessarily mean they're being dishonest.
4. It's never too late to turn things around.
You should always strive to be the best, kindest person you can be, but if you slip, know you can always redeem yourself. Making a change won't erase the mistakes you've made in the past, but you have the power to make a difference moving forward.
5. Overcome the fear within yourself.
Inner demons are the hardest kind to battle because they never go away. You'll always carry fear and worry with you, but you can control how the emotions affect you. Pro tip: Don't let them drive you to becoming a Sith Lord.
6. Never say "I have a bad feeling about this."
Dangerous situations often make the hairs on the back of your neck raise and set off mental alarms. If you find yourself in one of these situations, do not under any circumstances comment on it. Saying "I have a bad feeling about this" is like saying, "It can't get any worse." Trust us, it can.
7. Every life has value.
Jar Jar Binks was exiled from his home for the silliest of reasons. He was sent away, more or less, because of his clumsiness. But, he managed to find his way and play a part in shaping the future of the entire galaxy. Every being from Gungans, to Ewoks, to the tauntaun whose warm guts saved Luke is important, as is every being in our universe.
8. Always repay your debts.
First of all, if you need to borrow money, turn to a more reputable source than a crime lord like Jabba the Hutt. Next, regardless of who lends you the funds, repay them in a timely manner. Payment due dates aren't suggestions. You don't want to end up frozen in carbonite, right? Right.
9. Keep your mind open to new possibilities.
Whether it's tasting Brussels sprouts or joining a group of scrappy rebels, trying new things is good for your soul. All we experience from the mundane to the grand adds to who we are and what we believe, so keep an open mind and experience as much as you can.
10. A little hope goes a long way.
Hope is contagious. If you remain optimistic, share your hope with others, and put your feelings into action, you can change the world. Remember to be patient and to not give up -- progress happens slowly and may not be immediately visible.
What have you learned from Star Wars? Let me know in the comments.
Amy Ratcliffe is a writer obsessed with Star Wars, Disney, and coffee. Follow her on Twitter at @amy_geek and keep up with all things geeky at her blog.