Obi-Wan, View Points, & Marriage

Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Luke Skywalker in A New Hope that Darth Vader betrayed and murdered his father.

After Vader reveals to Luke that he is, in fact, his father, Luke confronts Obi-Wan in Return of the Jedi and tells Obi-Wan that he lied to him.

Kenobi explains that Anakin Skywalker ceased to be and became Darth Vader and the good man inside him died when he turned to the dark side.

Obi-Wan comments that his explanation of Luke’s father’s death was true from “a certain point of view”.

What Do You See?

As children, many of us participated in an exercise where we were asked to look at a glass of water. The glass only contained half the amount of water it could possibly hold. The exercise is designed to open your eyes to how you perceive things in the world.

Is the glass half full or half empty?

Do you perceive the positive or the negative?

How we perceive the world around us usually has more to say about our own internal struggles than it does the actual events of the world.

In less than 30 days, unless you read this after June 28th, I’m getting married. It’s a big deal–our society views it as a sign of growing up and becoming a man/woman.

Marriage is,however, a beginning and an end.

The end of bachelorhood and the beginning of commitment and partnership etc etc. That is if we follow the traditional definition of marriage.

This is not a post to advocate marriage equality nor to convince people we need a new definition of marriage in modern America and I will not go into a political diatribe on marriage and the government. If you want to know what I think in its simplest form: marriage is a contract between two consenting adults executed to describe how they will live their lives together with each other, period.

I don’t put anything religious or sacred into my definition of marriage. Yet, I live in America. My “point of view” has been framed by our ideals of what marriage is.

So why am I questioning or thinking about our traditional perception of marriage? Probably because my lovely lady points out to me that I fall into the trap of “tradition” even with my so called modern interpretation I mentioned above.

What started this thought and this contemplating came from a comment she made when I posted this on her Facebook wall.

She quickly asked me why getting married meant “game over”?

It doesn’t mean game over it just means you level up, she said. You move onto a new boss.

A new challenge. A new quest.

My fiance/wife is not a gamer. For her to frame those words in that context surprised me but she speaks some truth.

Rules of Society

I have been taught or directed to see marriage as a loss of freedom. Hello prison sentence! Hence why people refer to their wives as the ball-and-chain.

Wait a minute, though. Who in the hell would give themselves a prison sentence? I have seen plenty of movies and television, the same TV mind you that guided my vision of what “marriage” also guided my vision of what prison entails. So what person in their right mind would want that? WHO SIGNS UP TO GO TO PRISON???  Umm…no one that’s who.

I don’t think all of the fault lies with television or media.

How many times have you had friends or family members tell you when you were single how lucky you were? Or how they wish they had your freedom? Or how you should cherish that because some day you will find a woman and all that will be gone?

A colleague sent me this. After he sent it to me he said, “soon your life will be over as you know it.” Again perpetuating this notion of some sort of “death”.

I looked at this link and I all I could think was: HOLY BAT POOP BATMAN WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD ANYONE WANT TO GET MARRIED IF THIS IS WHAT ALL THE MARRIED MEN ARE TELLING MARRIAGE IS LIKE!??!?! WHY ARE YOU GUYS NOT DIVORCING THESE WOMEN IF YOU ARE THAT EFFING MISERABLE???

So why do we (men) continue to perpetuate these perceived notions?

Simple.

Our “points of view” are guided by what we are told whether that’s told by your cranky uncle or grandfather or the TV dads we see each day. The only things I know about marriage are what others who are married tell me marriage “is”.

Since they have the experience I accept their definition as definitive. When we are young we rely on our parents and family to define much of our world for us.

For a long time, I was the single guy who beguiled my friends for getting married or thought it was silly when they were twenty-two and saying “I do”. At that age I honestly believed what society and other men portrayed marriage to be–a loss of freedom.

Your Sword is Your Identity

In some ways, I relate that feeling now to Jaime Lannister losing his sword hand. Your sword hand was your freedom and now your freedom has been amputated all in the name of love.

If love handicaps you then why would I want to be in love?

We find comfort in believing the ideas we were raised on. We are resistant to new ideas at first. Fighting for what we hold true.

Men from their “certain point of view” tend to regard marriage as a sacrifice. A martyrdom they must commit for the good of the species and the balance of society. Gone are the days of debauchery.

Our fathers and brothers and uncles have painted marriage in such a light that its amazing we have ever continued the tradition.

For myself, I have over the last few months fallen into that pit of tradition. I have made off handed comments about my last days of freedom or that on June 28th I am putting on the shackle and handing over the key. That is a glass half empty perception. Is my freedom really gone? Does the game end on June 28th? From a “certain point of view” some would say yes.

I defy that concept and say no, the game does not end.

Game Over On

On June 28th, I level up!  Instead of tackling the next boss myself, I get a partner, a companion who can help tackle the next cave troll or dragon or wander the Wasteland along side me.

This is not a prison sentence. Prison is a place you are sent for being recalcitrant.

The game is not over!

No, this is a new challenge.

A new quest.

I choose to not view marriage from others points of view. I am choosing to define MY marriage as I and my wife see fit.  In a world that is redefining itself every day I am not going to be beholden to the points of view of the past.

Just like an RPG I am going to choose how to play this game called marriage (or life). Life is an RPG played how we want it and I will not let “certain points of view” color how I view my next challenge.

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