On the dark side

I was just thinking that this note was not going to be about Star Wars, but I was wrong. Even Master Yoda would agree, he would, that we all harbor a dark side, a side that makes decisions, gets us through difficult situations, breaks the ice, drives in a nail, moves a heavy object, barges through a traffic jam, gets us out of the rain, climbs that last flight of stairs. Yet, our dark side is also short-tempered, at times, even violent, much to our own chagrin. There are other aspects associated with the dark side that I won’t discuss here, but let’s just say that those facets of our personalities are better left undiscovered, and maybe undiscussed as well. We cannot survive without our dark sides. We would all be indecisive Charlie Browns if we didn’t have a dark side, wishy-washy, good-natured, but no kick and no results. He never did kiss that little red-headed girl, did he? We all disapprove when Rhianna sings about liking whips and chains, but we also have the song on our playlists and Ipods. Perhaps it is the mix of light and dark which saves us. When road rage takes over, we have accidentally unleashed an unedited uncontrolled version of the dark side gone wild. Our more civilized side must be in control while standing in line at the grocery story, while listening to politicians talk, while driving, while deciding who will go first, anytime it would be better to defer to others. The dark side always wants to be first, to get served right away. Yet it is also our dark side that might save us in a sketchy situation, you know, those old “spidy” senses. We cannot give up on our dark side–anger isn’t always a bad reaction, but it must be a measured, reasonable response, not an out-of-control freak show. Maybe that is why Yoda was always so thoughtful even in the most desperate situation.