Week 3: Mental Skills - Perspective

Alexander Brighton
Moontrimmer
Posts: 236
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Week 3: Mental Skills - Perspective

Post by Alexander Brighton »

It is extremely important for a jedi to be able to achieve serenity of the mind. One of the ways to do that is to always challenge our own bias when viewing a situation. We all have a certain perception of things when we first encounter them; this is the only way we can begin to understand them, but we also have a tendency to focus on the negative possibilities rather than the good. As a jedi you must learn to always try to view a situation from several different viewpoints and always give people and situations the benefit of the doubt as this will allow you to walk through the world with greater mental serenity and also be less judgmental of people around you.
For this tasks we would therefore like you to share either a made up story or a true one about a time where either you or someone else judged a person or a situation too soon and how a change of perspective on the situation could have allowed them to see a more true version.

*You are welcome to answer this question as yourself, but you are also more than welcome to answer as your character. Just make sure everything stays HOL appropriate.

Post your answer below by 11.59 pm on the 31st of May to earn 5 points .
Maxim Trevelyan
Cleansweep Three
Posts: 1354
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:35 pm

Re: Week 3: Mental Skills - Perspective

Post by Maxim Trevelyan »

Kar'ta for all his preconceptions got along with most of the youglings in his clan. He was happy to learn from others in the subjects he was weaker in and help others when it was something Kar'ta was good at.

Except when it comes to one student. This student, whose name Kar'ta later learned was Konrad, was very disruptive not only in the training, but also during the personal time in the libraries of the Jedi Temple they lived at. He kept bothering other students, but especially Kar'ta. Konrad was unable to follow the simple rules and seemed impossible to be quiet.

One day, few months into their studies, Kar'ta snapped and yelled at Kondard, calling him a smooth brain (great insult on Mor'go), someone who does not belong to Heliost clan and general waste of space. A Jedi master overheard Kar’ta and took him away for punishment and a lesson.

During his punishment (which was transcribing some old texts), the Jedi Master told Kar’ta that Konrad is very wise, but has trouble retaining the knowledge in strict lessons, and generally, learning the usual way younglings are taught. That Kar’ta needed to exhibit patience and reach out with a helping hand rather than harsh words.

It was true. Kar’ta heeded Master’s words and helped Konrad with his studies, thus gaining a friend and a brilliant strategist, who helped the Heliost clan to greatness in the future.
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Prof. Will Lestrange
Cleansweep Two
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Re: Week 3: Mental Skills - Perspective

Post by Prof. Will Lestrange »

I had spent my first four years as a student here largely dreading the fifth year exams known as "OWLs". From what I had seen and heard, the writing prompts for the exams were significantly harder than anything we could expect in our normal classes - and I wasn't sure I would be able to get through them at all.

My fifth year began, and it was time for me to sit my exams. To make things harder, my first exam was in Ancient Runes - a subject I had not chosen as an elective! But I needed to power through this, and so I allowed myself to keep an open mind as I looked at my parchment. To my surprise, the exam began with a lesson on Ancient Runes, complete with Elder Futhark, that would teach me what I needed to know! That was something that I could handle: learning briefly about the history of runes and how they were used in making predictions (especially keeping my focus on their pronunciation instead of trying to mimic spellings). Once I finished reading, it was time to begin working on the questions: there were two essays (one short and one long) but also some relatively straightforward True/False and short answer questions that reminded me of the type of questions I could see in any class here.

When it came time to write the essays, I was now in the proper mindset to really talk about runes: making a guess as to what a rune used to stand for and then making a prediction of my own interest. Turning in the parchment, I was glad that I had been able to adjust my perspective on the exams in time to write them (though had I had the proper perspective earlier, I could have been spared a few years of worrying). Also, it turns out (with the benefit of hindsight) that the prediction I had made for my OWL turned out to be completely correct!
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Isa Vestal
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Re: Week 3: Mental Skills - Perspective

Post by Isa Vestal »

I'sa Vestal had heard rumors about Iridonian Zabraks (a species discussed in earlier posts) being vicious and ferocious monsters. Centuries ago, a group of Iridonian Zabraks had committed genocide against her race of Niuqian Zabraks and legend had told that the opposing sub-species were brought up full of hate and anger. When I'sa first arrived on Coruscant, she had never before met an Iridonian Zabrak. However, the legends told to her as a child gave her preconceived notion about them being savages. Coincidentally, one of the first Jedi Knights that I'sa met was an Iridonian Zabrak. As Niuq 5D7, I'sa's moon, is rather small and unpopulated, not many Iridonians know of the genocide that took place or the resentment many Niuqians hold for their kind. As such, the Iridonian Jedi Knight did not realize the context for why I'sa resented him and she had refused to tell him, believing that he was acting as if he didn't know. Due to I'sa's obnoxious and rude attitude toward the Jedi Knight, he became slightly callous and cold, and ended up reporting her poor behavior.

This, of course, only made I'sa believe that the Jedi Knight was attempting to sabotage her efforts to become a Jedi. It ingrained in her the idea that Iridonians held a prejudice against her species and that she would not be able to succeed when she had a hateful, savage being around her. When talking with the other younglings around her, they all seemed okay with the Jedi Knight, furthering I'sa's belief that he was just cold toward her and was, therefore, a bad person.

Soon enough, she was brought in front of the Jedi Counsel. They had brought her in front of them with the full intention to release her from Jedi training, despite it being only her first week. However, when unraveling both her own and the Jedi Knight's stories, the Counsel soon realized that this was a mere misunderstanding. As the Jedi Knight told his own story, I'sa suddenly realized how she had been acting toward a completely innocent person and that this conception of a species as inherently evil could be the downfall of her short Jedi career.

As the Counsel ended the session for deliberation, the Jedi Knight and I'sa were locked outside of the Counsel room for a few minutes. During this time, I'sa apologized profusely to him, believing that he was angry at her. Before he was given time to respond, they were brought back into the Counsel room. The Jedi Knight was unfairly demoted from his rank, a repercussion for his inadvertently and provoked callousness, while I'sa was given a second chance at her training. As I'sa left the Counsel room, the Knight smiled kindly at her and told her that she had the potential for a strong Jedi Knight.

This completely changed I'sa's opinion on a whole race. She had viewed Iridonian Zabraks as savages but this image had been disproved. Though she still holds some hesitancy toward Iridonian Zabraks, she has been able to get closer to a few and has learned of just how nice many of them are and also how harmful recklessness can be.
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Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
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Re: Week 3: Mental Skills - Perspective

Post by Prof. Tarma Amelia Black »

Lufta had been in Bergruutfa a few days and noticing the others who were in her Clan. Most of them just seemed in sync with each other but she noticed one person who seemed to be more aloof, who carried herself with a bit of what seemed like disdain, maybe even arrogance. She didn't talk to anyone and just kept to herself. This person was taller than many of her age and slight of build, but at the same time seemed to be so gorgeous as to put all others in the shade. "Humph ..." Lufta thought and just relegated the other (whose name, Alana, even meant 'beautiful') to 'nope'. Lufta generally preferred animals and plants anyway, to other 2-leggers, so this person definitely fell into the 'not interested' category.

One day, though, after being there a couple of weeks, she was going through the garden areas, weeding and generally checking out the plants for what they needed, and she heard a sound coming from within the clump of azkeptarfs. Curious, she approached with soft steps, until she could see within the clump. There was Alana. She was crying, and attempting to hide the sound by muffling her face in her cloak.

Lufta's nose twitched with irritation. Why was Alana spewing that kind of nasty vibe on her plants? More to remove Alana from the plants than any other reason, Lufta deliberately made some scuffling noises with her shoes so that Alana would be able to hear someone approach.

Alana raised her face with alarm. Her nose was all red and her eyes puffy, her silver-blond hair in tangles and clumps as it streamed down her shoulders and back.

"What'cha doing?" Lufta asked, sort of gruff. Well, obviously Alana was crying but she didn't know what else to say. People skills were not her thing.

"Go-go-go away.." Alana said . "I wan-wan-want to be ALONE!"

Lufta snorted. "Not gonna happen." Already she had a hunch that she'd really blown it with her 'instant judgment' but wasn't sure. "So why you here?"

"I st-st-started oh DARN..." Alana glared at Lufta.

****
The story came out. Alana had joined the clan and was trying to fit in. She wasn't being arrogant or disdainful or anything, she was shy and she stuttered. So very shy and when she was amongst other 2-leggers, she felt very self-conscious because she was tall for her age, and many people thought she was pretty and would stare at her which caused the stuttering to be worse if she tried to talk. So she was miserable.

Lufta's sense of compassion swelled up in her. And she felt ashamed of herself. She had been one of those to judge Alana on her looks and behavior and didn't take the time to actually 'feel' what Alana felt like. Okay, she could handle this.

"Do you like plants?" Alana nodded, indicating that is one reason she had hidden in the azkeptarfs. Lufta stopped a moment, uncomfortable. "So. You want a friend? Someone who doesn't care if you stutter and will wait for you to finish? Gotta tell you, though, I don't usually have 2-legger friends."

Alana's face brightened up, and Lufta groaned. What was she getting herself into?

"Yes, please" Alana said, without a single stutter to the words. She continued - "Wh-wh-what's this plant? It sme-sme-smells so NICE?"

Lufta smiled. "It's azkeptarfs! It's really cool and the flowers are of a healing quality for headaches and the leaves, you know how they smell of vanilla? They can be used in lotions and also as a cooking ingredient....."

And it went from there. Alana and Lufta became friends. Alana learned about plants (and animals) and Lufta learned that she had a lot to learn about herself -- and have opportunities to choose otherwise.
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Lorainia Riverrider
Oakshaft 79
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Re: Week 3: Mental Skills - Perspective

Post by Lorainia Riverrider »

For this task I have chosen to share a more personal story about a time someone judged me. I am profoundly deaf (which means I was born with no natural hearing). The first time I went with my sister to her high school for a football game did not go as well as I would have hoped. One of my sister's teachers thought I was rude when we first met. The situation: My sister went into the restroom, I stayed outside waiting for her. Her English teacher seen me standing there and was trying to talk to me from afar with my back turned to her. I of course could not hear her. When my sister came out of the restroom she saw the teacher and waved at her. The teacher told her that I was very rude and ignored her when she tried to tell me hello. My sister motioned for me to follow me and introduced me to the teacher while explaining that I was deaf. The teacher was embarrassed. But from there she took the opportunity to learn some basic signs and at some later football games, we were able to speak to each other over some distance.
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Iverian Gnash
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Re: Week 3: Mental Skills - Perspective

Post by Iverian Gnash »

There are a lot of situations in everyone's lives where we act according to what we immediately see, but when we think about it later, we realize that the situation may have been very different for others. There are two experiences I'm going to share, both of them oddly happened at the same place and are rather recent.

At our park we have signs posted everywhere that say not to feed the ducks. So there's this older lady that constantly brings down food in large bags for them and they all flock around her. She tends to scare away the large white birds that are actually native and only lets the ducks eat so it can be a little annoying and she has a habit of yelling at little kids (when I was younger, she would yell at me too) for chasing the ducks - which we shouldn't have been doing... but she also shouldn't be feeding them. So as I got a bit older, I realized this lady firstly never treated little children which much... compassion, always had these large things of food which I believe were for a dog or cat, and was literally always at the park which led me to believe she most likely did not have children of her own and lived by herself with probably an animal like a cat. I can see why she was the way she was and, while annoying, this lady was older and maybe feeding the ducks was her chance to get out of the house and be around people a bit so a change of perspective here really brought me to understand her more and offer a smile when I do see her there.

The second situation happened at the same place since we're down there a lot. My brothers brought fishing poles and were fishing for a while when this boy, maybe around ten, came up and asked what they were doing. My brothers weren't really interested in conversation, but nonetheless discussed fishing a bit with him which he was very interested in. The boy then asked if he could use a fishing pole. This was a bit controversial for them since they had only brought one pole for each of them down there so one would have to give up a pole and they can be overly protective of their gear. They did however and the boy sat there with it for... quite a while which led my brothers to get rather frustrated and eventually asked for the pole back. The child wouldn't give it back and my brothers ended up being there quite a while until the kid did eventually hand it over. Obviously my brothers were frustrated but the boy wasn't down there with anyone which immediately raises red flags because why would a child as young as he was be by himself unless there wasn't a lot of adult supervision to begin with. Furthermore, rods can be expensive so this boy most likely did not have one (no doubt) and didn't know how to fish (which my brothers had to teach him a bit when he was there). So looking back on the situation, it seems as though the little boy didn't have anyone to show him how to and was genuinely curious so it was probably a once in a long time chance to actually fish.
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Prof. Sindor Aloyarc
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Re: Week 3: Mental Skills - Perspective

Post by Prof. Sindor Aloyarc »

Orgendino once took an Internship on his home planet that was set in what would have been considered Summertime on Hklcde. The program was offered by a local Performance Flying troupe that put on a handful of shows every year during the season.

Within the first few weeks, one of the other Interns began to really get on his last nerve. This Dreinkhan member was about twice as old as the rest of the interns and was trained in the arts of choreography, so his physical movements were beautifully done and far surpassed the others, yet he had never focused much on his flying techniques which set him back a bit initially with some rather clunky rehearsals before he started getting more comfortable with combining the two skills.

Vidstrobbe was his name, and he was a rather snarky/sarcastic character. Although Orgendino initially thought he was going to like Vidstrobbe, the two immediately began butting heads both publicly and privately, and he even had to fly out of one rehearsal in tears he was so upset by a particular comment that was made.

It was little surprise that they kept as much to themselves as possible whenever they could help it, and spent the better part of their stay avoiding one another.

Once a year toward the end of the program it was customary to put on a separate, special showcase for kids/families. As luck would have it, Vidstrobbe and Orgendino were cast as a particular duo and were therefor paired together for the entire run. They were, admittedly, the perfect couple to carry out this particular set of characterizations, but it was nonetheless one of those "Let's just do our best to stay out of each other's scales and not completely demolish one another before the end of season in a couple weeks."

To both of their surprised, by the end of those two weeks (after months of being rivals) they had become the best of friends in the entire company, and never had a negative altercation again. Orgendino even developed a bit of a soft spot for Vidstrobbe's sassy, put-off demeanor. Neither one is exactly sure what "clicked" to make this change happen, but almost immediately upon being forced into a partnership they realized that their chemistry as teammates was way more fun and beneficial than their chemistry as enemies, and their rocky past suddenly became a distant figment for both.

Just goes to show, if you prejudge somebody, or aren't open to "letting go" of your history with someone, you just might miss out on a truly beautiful relationship! Even if it takes a little doing to get to that point.
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Prof. Sky Alton
Tinderblast
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Re: Week 3: Mental Skills - Perspective

Post by Prof. Sky Alton »

Following Lo’s excellent lead, I decided to share an experience from my own life that I feel fits the question in more ways than one.

My primary school had a swimming pool and now and again each class would spend a few weeks having their P.E lesson be a swimming lesson. The pool had a shallow end and a deep end; strong swimmers were allowed to practice in the deep end while less strong swimmers were kept in the shallow end. I was already a strong swimmer by the time I first entered the school pool due to already having earned certificates in swimming at a local pool. However, for a very, very long time, I wasn’t allowed out of the shallow end in spite of proving myself many times. I slowly realised this was because I was blind.

Unfortunately, at that age I wasn’t able to advocate for myself the way I can now. All I could do was keep insisting to the staff in charge that I was good enough to safely swim with my friends in the advanced class (I had the certificates to prove it). I got angrier and angrier as nobody listened to me. It was only when my instructor from the local pool came to volunteer at the school and asked why on earth I was still in the beginner class that I was finally allowed to move up. I still remember the pang of irritation I felt when the staff acted like this was a huge treat for me. If they hadn’t made ignorant assumptions about my disability, I’d have been there several years before.

As I’ve got older, I’ve been able to view this (and other incidents like it) with more detachment. I understand why people make the assumptions they do. The people who inform me that I can’t do something are, 9 times out of 10, trying to keep me safe or to morally/legally cover themselves should anything happen to me. Often times they also lack experience; having not seen a disabled person do something before, it’s very easy to conclude that it just isn’t possible. Even when faced with evidence, people's bias will still sometimes cause them to default to no. (just ask me about the people who insist blind people can’t use the internet even though a blind person is using the internet to explain to them just how that’s possible).

This understanding of the motivations that might lie behind a decision lets me reason with someone on a more equal footing, rather than letting my justifiable irritation get the better of me and allowing them to dismiss me as emotional. Being able to separate unfair judgements made out of fear or a lack of education from those made due to prejudice or malice is a very powerful tool as it not only means I give people the benefit of the doubt but also means I stand a better chance of helping them to make better choices when faced with a similar situation in the future. So while being prematurely told I can’t do something by someone lacking the knowledge to make that call still makes me wild with frustration, I’m now able to step back, take a breath and try to work with them to address their concerns.
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February Fortescue
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Re: Week 3: Mental Skills - Perspective

Post by February Fortescue »

My younger brother possesses that unusual combination of book smart and common, practical sense. He not only has his high school diploma, and but he has also passed several college courses with high marks. He helped design, build, and complete some of the electrical work in his home. My brother also has a really bad speech impediment. His tongue isn't attached correctly. He's been assured several times that the procedure to correct this is an easy one, but he flat out refuses to have it done.

Because of his speech impediment, many people tend to assume his mental facilities are affected as well. Some will ignore him. Some will make jokes about him which they assume he can't understand. Others will talk down to him.

Oddly enough, as much as this upsets me, it doesn't bother my brother at all. He simply observes. He says people are more likely to let their guard down, and he gets the chance to see how they respond to other people whom they perceive as different, or, sadly, as "less than." It makes it easier for him to choose who he wants to be friends with and who he trusts.
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Emily Spencer
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Re: Week 3: Mental Skills - Perspective

Post by Emily Spencer »

Ky'lia had trust issues, and that was putting it very mildly. Her previous life on Xubos had ill-prepared her to be part of a 'clan. For someone who had never known 'family' in the traditional sense of the word. Being thrust into Katarn, where she was expected to be a 'part in the whole' had not been an easy transition for the young girl. She liked to pride herself on her instincts, but there was this one time that trusting her instincts had almost ended in disaster.

Amadani Grecle was a fellow Katarn, and close to Ky'lia's age. They also had a very similar size and build, so it was not uncommon for the two to be paired together for physical tasks and training. Being forced into such close proximity, it did not take long for Ky'lia to notice that Amadani was just a tad bit better than her in combat. Ky'lia had been bred to know that coming in second was the same as a loss and despite the Jedi Code she was coming to adopt, she felt jealousy filling her heart. Jealousy mixed with self-doubt makes for a dangerous combination that can only be contained for so long.

Once more, the pair found themselves on the training ground, practice saber to practice saber. In what Ky'lia now knows was an attempt to be encouraging, Amadani made a near-fatal error in judgment. Turning to Ky'lia, she uttered words that made there young girl see red..literally.

"Don't worry, I'll go easy on you. Just watch my movements and copy them and you'll be just fine."

To Ky'lia's ears, it sounded like a taunt, igniting the powder-keg inside her and putting on a fast track to explode. Throwing the practice sword to the ground, she charged toward her nemesis, both fists clenched in rage. A wall of red slammed down in front of her eyes, not even the frantic shouts of the Master able to pierce the shield locking her into her own private world of deadly anger. Only when she was pulled away physically did she regain her vision..and her senses. Luckily, Amadani had lived through the storm. She was clutching her throat and gasping for breath and Ky'lia's fist burned like fire, but she honestly had no idea what had transpired.

The Master was not happy at all about the turn of events. Only later did Ky'lia learn that it was Amadani herself that had begged and pleaded not for Ky'lia to be turned out of the Academy immediately, her mind wiped of all Jedi knowledge she had learned thus far. Amadani become her relentless champion, speaking for the other girl when Ky'lia had no words left to defend herself. For the first time, perhaps, Ky'lia knew what it was like to experience shame and gratitude, two concepts that had previously escaped her.

In the end, Ky'lia was allowed to stay on, although she would have to work through a probationary period. That was only fair. Though her first reaction to Amadani's stance had been to question the other's motives, in time the cracks in her own wall began to emerge and Amadani became 'more than a mere acquaintance', which was as close to Ky'lia would come to saying 'friend'. The girl she had apparently tried to kill became her mentor, and Ky'lia humbled herself enough to take the lessons. Amadani would never answer questions about that day, though, always saying she did not want to talk about it.

Ky'lia was willing to admit that she had misjudged Amadani greatly. The other girl opened up about her own life, telling Ky'lia that she reminded her of there sister, and that is why she had spoken as she did. Her sister, Le'shani had died the year before trying to pod race through a meteor corridor-just to prove she was the better pilot. That was a sobering thought, indeed.

A lasting friendship? Too soon to tell. But it has to start somewhere, one supposes. One day, perhaps, Amadani would even trust her enough to talk about 'that day'. The only thing Ky'lia knows are snippets she happened to catch when she passed two Masters in the hallway talking and mentioning her name Although, for the life of her, she couldn't figure out what 'force choke', 'Anakin' and 'I've got a bad feeling about this' had to do with her. Who knows?!! For now, she will keep her head down and try to remain unnoticed. For now.
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Prof. Polaris Black
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Re: Week 3: Mental Skills - Perspective

Post by Prof. Polaris Black »

Jan’tz sat with her classmates in the great hall. Her professor had engaged a consultant to teach his students the power of teamwork. The consultant had formidable credentials as evidenced by the professor’s lengthy introduction. But it turned out he also had a formidable accent and Jan’tz struggled unsuccessfully to understand what he was saying. The other students were restless, shifting in their seats, laughing amongst themselves, and rolling their eyes; clearly they had no appetite to endure this for the next three days.

But after about 30 minutes, the consultant lost the accent, the class snapped to attention, and we had learned our first lesson about preconceived notions! Over the course of three days, we learned about ourselves, our classmates, and how to apply our individual strengths to the success of a project. It was time well spent.
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