Comments about ‘Why Yoda was tragically wrong’

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Published: Friday, Feb. 8 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

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qapilot
Orem, UT

There are many goofy things in Star Wars, but Yoda was right on the button with his "Do, or do not" quote. Of course, life is filled with failure and repeated attempts. In the Star Wars movies, characters are constantly coming-up short and making repeated attempts at success, Yoda himself being among them.

What Yoda was talking about is not perfection, but commitment. Too often, our stated level of commitment is to "try." It's a safe response when we want to leave room for failure ... permanent failure. Often, those who say "I'll try" are planning on giving-up after a meager attempt, or as soon as the going gets tough ... so at least they can sit back and say they were true to their word. But in matters of family, integrity and accomplishing life's most important goals, the bar needs to be higher. It may take multiple attempts to succeed, but the person who commits to doing instead of just trying WILL succeed at last if not at first, and will show a dependability far beyond those who agree only to "try."

byufanutahemployee
LAYTON, UT

I never took this scene that way. When one says that they will "try," it generally means they will give up if they don't succeed the first time. You keep trying because trying isn't your goal, doing is. For you, there is no try, or at least it isn't important, there is only the final outcome after many attempts--succeeding or failing.

omni scent
taylorsville, UT

qapilot has it exactly right.

Stephen Palmer is tragically wrong.

omni scent
taylorsville, UT

Side note: can we all agree to take "midi-chlorian" both out of our collective vocabulary and collective memory?

JP
Chandler, AZ

Give qapilot Stephen Palmer's job.

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

Good points in this article. I am not going to get caught up in the nuances of "trying", and Yoda, but the point of the article is to "never give up", because the grace of the Savior suffices when you are trying. That doesn't remove the necessity to repent repeatedly.

Mosiah 26:30 says: "Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me."

That verse tells me that we WILL indeed make mistakes constantly, and that the Savior will constantly forgive us when we repent. He won't give up on us, so neither should we give up.

Never give up.

Y Ask Y
Provo, UT

Palmer should not be "steadying the ark" by disagreeing with Master Yoda.

That is the path to the dark side, hmmmm?

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

At the risk of taking the “little green, wrinkly humanoid” as a serious (not to mention real) teacher, this one is just too fun not to chime in.

First, I very much doubt Yoda (or the teachers of Eastern wisdom his character was based on) would ever make an absolute & blanket (applicable to all people in all circumstances) statement like “never try.”

Yoda was addressing one person “trying” to do one thing at one moment in time, and whose attitude expressed serious doubt (which was the real target of Yoda’s jab). Stephen recognizes this half way into his essay, but then largely ignores it for the remainder.
And his formula needs improvement – a better one would be:

Success = (Trying X Learning from Mistakes) – Failure

But all in all a good, if incomplete, motivational message…

feickertmd
Colorado Springs, CO

Our mentality causes us to think that trying results in one of two outcomes: success and failure. This is really not true. With "earnest" trying, there is only one outcome: success! When you try, you experiment (see Alma 32) and seek results. A result is always a success; you learn that the attempt (or "proof", as is more appropriate) either produced the expected result or an unexpected one.

We can and should learn from any outcome and move forward. As we are counseled in scripture, if we find that that we have a "good seed" ("success"), we gain knowledge and are ready for the next step of faith to add upon it. If we discover that we have a "bad seed" ("failure"), we cast it aside and move on to the next experiment to see if it will produce a good seed. In either case, we learn, we grow, and we can move forward in a positive manner.

Yoda is right! I think his semantics are sound, but the word choice of "do or do not" resonates improperly with us due to our cultural upbringing. We must do, learn, and do again.

Pete1215
Lafayette, IN

Biology is all about trying until the cost is more than the gain. That is the nature of adjusting. Trying for all eternity, diverting one's resources to that which will not happen, is a path to failure. Yoda was wrong; there is only trying, and maybe then, success.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Obviously what Yoda said was wrong, but perhaps not in the context in which it was said and what he meant to imply.

I imagine Yoda sensed if he did try, that he would be successful, therefore trying in THIS case wasn't good enough. He 'had' to keep trying until he was successful.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Palmer Stephen, wrong was he.
"You must unlearn what you have learned."

This litte scene was the ONLY one in 6 movies that George Lucas had right!

This is the bedrock of FAITH.

Faith is a knowledge of something unseen or unknown, a Do - it is not a "Try".

Think of a baby learning to walk.

As parents, we see them try and fail.
We tell the little ones - Come on, you CAN DO it. (There is no try)
When they fail, then we tell them to try it again.
Always with the expectation of that they CAN DO it, not try.

"Do or do not. There is no try."

...and try and try again until you DO.
There is no try.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

Wasn't it one on the Mormon Church presidents that had a plaque on his executive desk that said: " Just do It". It didn’t say try to do it.

LValfre
CHICAGO, IL

Yoda was right. You can try all you want and I sure have. But in the end you either do it or you don't. Bottom line ... it's the results that matter.

dan76
san antonio, TX

I suggest if one initiates a task with a positive attitude coupled with the necessary skillset and planning, success will follow. One whom merely "tries" without sufficient preparation is likely to face disappointment.

LValfre
CHICAGO, IL

It's the mindset. You say you're gonna do it and you're gonna do it. You say you're gonna try and you're leaving failure as an option.

BYU Track Star
Los Angeles, CA

If you lined up Yoda with the then living Spenser W. Kimball in 1980 you would have seen a remarkable resembalance. I wonder if the Urban myth is true that George Lucas used Kimball as a starting point for the character Yoda?

Dennis
Harwich, MA

"Do, or do not" is a sensational quote. Trying is an excuse not to get things done. Not putting in your best effort. Not standing up for yourself.

Y-Ask-Y?
Provo, UT

To be fair, we probably should question the wisdom of some wrinkled little swamp creature whose incompetence on the Jedi Council, and inability to use the Force to see what the enemy was up to, resulted in the almost complete destruction of the Jedi Order, including many "little ones" in the Jedi Temple, and the fall of the Republic.

If Yoda was so wise, he wouldn't have let such horrible things happen. Those Wookies should have stepped on him a long time before it got out of hand.

I'm just sayin'.

Pendergast
Salt Lake City, UT

Maybe Yoda should be a spokesman for Nike.

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