“Help, I think I am melting. This is all your fault.” Anyone familiar with Star Wars could probably nail who said this line. C-3P0 – our favorite little pessimist (or worry-wart) in that galaxy far, far away. His comments tell us much of his outlook on life, and really, show us something of ourselves.
C-3P0 by far, has some of the best lines in the entire Star Wars Saga:
“I know I am going to regret this.”
“We seem to be made to suffer. It is our lot in life.”
“This is such a drag.”
“This malfunctioning little twerp, this is all his fault.”
The list could go on and on. If there were someone who would pooh-pooh a plan, it would be him. Quick to point out the odds and often seeing the downside, C-3P0 very often focused on the negative.
In instance after instance, and scene after scene in the Saga, his focus was on the things that were wrong. Whether you would call it pessimism, realism, or just practicality, he rarely saw the bright side. Every so often, there would be a brief hint of optimism, like in Empire when he believed they would see Master Luke again, but these times were sparse. Most of the time, he was quick to see the problem, and that became his focus.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not putting C-3P0 down. He and R2 are two of my favorite characters. Their interactions are some of the best in the movies, and he is probably one of the most honest characters one could find. He is one of those characters that seem the most realistic (which is ironic considering he is a droid).
He seems down to earth, and connects with viewers in a special way. Part of this connection has to do with what he shows us about ourselves. He connects with us, because we see something of ourselves in him. As humans, worrying and focusing on the problems is not something that we have to try very hard to do. To some degree it seems to come naturally to us.
Think about your day, how often are your reactions or comments the result of something you perceive to be negative. “Oh crap __________ (fill in the blank)” is a common reaction to a less than desirable situation, at least in my world. When we have an unexpected life event, it is easy to focus on the possible bad outcomes. C-3P0 is the epitome of this. His first reaction to each situation is to see what could or will go wrong.
This reaction we see in C-3P0 then leads to a complaint, a negative prognosis, or even some degree of ungratefulness. Even when someone tries to help, the assistance is sometimes unappreciated (“Oh, my! What have you done? I'm BACKWARDS. You flea-bitten furball! Only an overgrown mop-head like you would be stupid enough to...” – does this quote ring a bell).
Seeing the negative in life, or always seeing the downside can take a toll, without one even knowing. In this is a lesson for our own life, and something we can pass along to our children. What we see, and how we see things greatly affects our day-to-day life. When faced with problems, issues, and unexpected events, we choose how to react. Often, like C-3P0, we see the negative, we see the bad possibilities, and we lose focus of the good. We lose focus of all for which we have to be thankful.
Thankfulness and seeing the good is easy to miss sometimes. Life – just the everyday stuff – seems to crowd this out. At times words of complaint or frustration are much more quick to proceed from us, than words of thankfulness. Instead of seeing blessings, often our focus is on the problems and difficulties.
It is easy to get overwhelmed and think the worst, or let our minds "run away with us" as we focus on the problems and worry about what will happen. With so many things every day that seem to be negative, often that is all we see, and before we know it, the “odds” are against us (“Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.”).
Thankfulness, and seeing the positive side in life, is so essential, and something our children must first see from us. If all they see from us is negativity and ungratefulness, how will they ever learn anything different? I am not saying that we live life with rose colored glasses and skip through life singing “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah”, but even in those hard and difficult situations of life, we can not lose sight of all we truly have to be thankful for.
This, more than anything, is one of the most important lessons we can give our children. We can help them always see the “bright side” and look for those things to be thankful for, even when life is knocking them around a little. A heart of thankfulness, and stopping to see the good, will change our life, and will help our kids see that state of mind, not necessarily events surrounding us, is most important.
Every day we have a choice – which C-3P0 will you be and show to your younglings. Will you be the C-3P0 that says, “Wonderful, We are now a part of the tribe,” (while being surrounded by crazy little bears) or the one who says, “This is such a drag”? Which will you choose, and what will you pass on to your children? Thankfulness, and seeing the good is a choice – and it is a choice each of us have. Take time today to see the good and be thankful, and be the C-3P0 that saw the good (at least sometimes).