We've talked a bit about a Jedi's focus. This was very much on the level of the self. Today I want to talk about a Jedi's duty to other people.
Robert Jordan, in is Wheel of Time series, often writes, "Duty is heavier than a mountain." While this isn't the most comforting of lines, the words are true. According to the Webster dictionary, "duty" is any obligatory tasks, conduct, service, or functions that arise from one's position. Obligation is a heavy word; it is something that we must do, even if we don't feel like it. But that is a core value of the Jedi doing what we must, when me must, because it is the right thing to do.
The major part of a Jedi's duty involves serving others. Most of the time this means we act as counselors and mediators to individuals and groups. Part of that (my focus for today) is to let those we work with know what we, as Jedi, believe they need to work on to improve their lifestyle as well as their personal and public relationships. This is not always (or even often) easy. People do NOT like to hear constructive criticism (even when it is meant to help them) and they don't listen, or choose not to listen, to our words. This can land us in a very difficult position.
What you don't want to do (but is the easiest thing TO do) is force your opinions and actions onto the other person. You must come to realize that we are helpers and problem solvers rather than dictators of individual minds. We cannot push someone into doing or believing something they are not ready to accept. Like I mentioned before, it is perfectly okay to tell someone what you believe, but let him or her make his or her own choices. After all, they are thinking, rational people (even when it doesn't seem like they are). They know themselves far better than we will ever know them. Always leave room for personal interpretation and understanding.
Instead, we show them by setting ourselves as examples. Though it will take time and patience on your part, eventually they will see your emotions, responses, thoughts, and control. They will come to an understanding, even if it is not he exact one you had planned for them. But as always, the final choice is theirs.
Think for a moment about the message you would like to give. Every time you post here on the boards or talk with someone offline, you are being watched. Sometimes someone will see in you what he or she is missing in himself or herself. They will adapt your actions or ideals, and then they will pass them on to others. What do you want others to see and emulate in you? Think about this and answer the question as part of your lecture response.
Just a quick word of caution: sometimes people will take what you say and twist or bend it to their own purposes. While your initial reaction to this is probably to defend yourself and claim the words as your own, don't bother. It is part of your duty to not only be open to other ideas, but to welcome them as well. I know that this can be very difficult (and near impossible for some), but do the best that you can. In the end, we are only human.
Remember, a Jedi needs to realize that everyone (including ourselves) has a weak point as well as a strong. A Jedi needs to observe other people, just as we ourselves are observed. Most importantly, a Jedi needs to seek understanding of why these actions happen the way they do.
That is our duty. That is how we serve.