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  • #139523
    Yoko
    Participant

    Now I’m sure this has probably been brought up before, but to be honest this is starting to get really annoying.

    As I’m sure a few of you know, I am currently in my final year of school.

    Now when ever I’m looking at this site in my free time, or maybe having a read of the introduction course. People are always coming up to me and asking what I am doing. I tell them what I’m doing, and by doing so I get responses such as “Are you serious?””Nerd” or even just plain laughter. Evan by explaining to them that Jediism is more a way of life, they will still not understand and just take it is a big joke.
    This concerns me. I believe that we should let the public know what it means to be a Jedi and that it isn’t just a bunch of geeks taking a movie too seriously (or role-playing) I reckon that once people know this they may start to understand what being a Jedi is.
    Now I know it’s hard to let the whole world know, but if all of us just the time to explain it to someone who is asking then the word will spread.
    Thanks for reading
    Yoko    :yoda

    #152163
    inari
    Participant

    Perhaps you could take the pejorative ‘geek’ and look at it more closely. Names, especially in school, are used to get a reaction, to hurt you. These names are called by people who think they are pretty good, but once out in the ‘real world’ it becomes pretty obvious pretty quickly that they usually aren’t.  I have often been called a geek and I embrace my geekiness. It also has nothing to do with being a Jedi.

    Most of the people I know who are ‘geeks’ are in well paying, highly successful jobs that incorporate a good bit of traveling around the world (I worked in information technology until a couple of years ago).  That doesn’t sound so bad does it?

    Members of the Jedi community can and do explain to others what their path is about. There will always be people who make fun of things they don’t understand and have little interest in, that is where developing a thicker skin and practicing patience and non-attachment help.

    #152164
    Angelus
    Moderator

    Also take comfort in the fact that there are others who do not see being a Jedi is such negative terms. My Chicago group are very committed to walking the Jedi path and live it out in our everyday existence. We have even been approached by the newspapers and radio to talk about our group. Here’s one such article: http://redeye.chicagotribune.com/features/red-042509-group-main,0,1438289.story

    Additionally, just last month several of us met for our Gathering. I reserved space using the name “Jedi Gatherings.” The staff were very curious and asked more about what we do. Through conversation they grew more and more excited at our arrival. They made us feel most welcomed. They also announced to a church group using the campgrounds at the same that we were arriving. This church group were also looking forward to our visit. The middle-schoolers were so enthused, that the director invited us to be a part of their program for the following year.

    It is ironic that you use the work “geek” for one of the Jedi members said later “when did geek become the new sheik?”

    #152166
    Beral Khan
    Participant

    Kids can be cruel, for sure.  If you do decide to read this at school, how you communicate what you are doing can help you a lot.

    Are you not, in fact, researching alternative philosophies? And at this time, your research has taken you to people who look to take the ideology of service to others from the Jedi of fiction?

    If this is the case, sharing this information might be a better starting point.  I offer this because people often fear what they dont understand, but most often seek to ridcule what looks to be so far off the main stream path.

    After you take the intro course, I hope you will look at the communications course in an effort to communicate more effectively with yourself and the world around you.

    Have a great day!

    Beral

    #152167
    jdmcowan
    Participant

    It seems that the age of the questioners and the responder (you) is making a big difference in these exchanges.  As you can see from everyone else’s responses, adults tend to have a different interaction.  Human mental development has us developing our socialization skills most highly during high school (and continuing into college).  This means that for the majority of high-schoolers and many college students, “fitting-in” is what their brain strives for.  It’s an important skill to learn, but can be over-done.

    In high school it is rare for a student to have a real interest in philosophy or other esoteric or academic studies.  When a student does develop such intersests, they stand out from the majority of students and are labled in such a way that marks them as different.  As such, you are, in fact, a geek and maybe even a nerd.  They may mean it as an insult, but if you ask me, it shows that you are striving for something more out of life than they are.

    I recommed you be proud that they recognize that you are different and not just like everyone else.  They may not see it as a good thing, but I do, most adults do, and I’d bet you do too.  When they call you a “geek” or a “nerd”, just shrug your shoulders and say, “I guess.  I just find it interesting.”

    Zen-Ryo

    #152168
    Jedi_Phoenix
    Moderator

    At first when I read the title I thought: ‘Nuh-uh’!!!

    I like what everyone else has said, and I don’t have much to really contribute beyond whats already been said.  Just know that I graduated from high school 2 years ago now.  And I can remember lots of people thought I was geek, but my good friends repsected my choice (even though they joshed at me being a geek too)….so don’t draw on those reactions. 

    Quote:
    Perhaps you could take the pejorative ‘geek’ and look at it more closely. Names, especially in school, are used to get a reaction, to hurt you. These names are called by people who think they are pretty good, but once out in the ‘real world’ it becomes pretty obvious pretty quickly that they usually aren’t.  I have often been called a geek and I embrace my geekiness. It also has nothing to do with being a Jedi.

    ‘nough said ;D

    #152169
    Mindas Arran
    Participant

    I get some chuckling when I tell people I’m going to “Jedi Gatherings”. Generally, I stare at them until they stop laughing, then they get fidgety, and then just walk away. Takes about 2 – 3 minutes. Or, you can also sorta flip it on them — “We do running, swordplay, martial arts, search and rescue, shamanic breathing… what do you do?” I don’t know your exact situation, but I don’t try to explain myself to people that I already know aren’t going to get it. It’s a waste of time.

    #152179
    Adana
    Participant

    Yoko, I know exactly how you feel. Having gone through highschool with an immense amount of teasing from others I have grown a thicker skin over the last decades (oh, that makes me feel ancient using the word decades…. ;D..ok, just kidding).

    Approach the topic as natural as you can without making yourself feel as if you are the geek or nerd but they are for not knowing what it is you do. “Reverse the end of the stick” as my father always said.

    Even at my age – I am in my 40s – I get the smirks, grins and occasional “bird” or other hand signals when I tell people what I do. Over time many of those people have come back to me and asked more serious questions as to what we really do and how we apply all of this to real life. There are many mothers/parents in my son’s school who suddenly reached a different understanding and respect for me and the kids stopped teasing my son (he is in 5th grade after the summer).

    The Path on which we walk is not an easy one as Qui Gon already pointed out to young Ani when he took him to become a Jedi. Tell them that we have members world wide and all over the US and invite them to check out the JRC or the Academy. I have handed out the links many times and shown pictures from the gatherings periodically. You should people’s reactions after that, what a great change.

    I hope this helps a bit.

    #152292
    Nitsud
    Participant

    I guess this is just a summarization of what’s already been said… as you get more responsibility when getting out on your own the feelings projected from other people’s labels become moot.  Time’s to short and precious to worry about receiving everyone’s approval or respect.  Keep doing whatever keeps you sane, happy, and loving towards the ones you love.  As long as you don’t hurt anyone who isn’t asking for it you’re doing alright.

    #152307
    Kai-An
    Participant

    Agreed. If I’m not sure how people are going to react but I want to mention it, I generally say I’m interested in philosophy and spirituality, or say that I participate at a philosophical forum online. People are generally impressed instead of weirded out. Mostly its a misinformed image thing- they get this vision of someone dressing up and pretending to have a lightsaber, which is fun, but not what being a Jedi is. But if people laugh or make fun of you, ignore it as best you can. They don’t get it, but its important to you so it doesn’t matter. :) Thats why its nice having a community here- even though we might not be there physically, at least you know there are people who do get this side of you. :)

    Much love,
    Kai-An

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