Saturday, February 17, 2007

Rethinking Gifts II

Menelaus bequeathed a royal silver bowl to Telemachus, endorsing the young prince as the rightful heir of Odysseus; likewise, Obi-Wan gave Luke his father’s light saber, the weapon of the Jedi. What else was he giving Luke through the gift of a powerful weapon? What was the unspoken message? Obi-Wan was letting him know that, as the son of a Jedi, Luke had what it takes to wield such an implement. He was also extending his trust. He trusted that Luke would use the weapon for good and not evil. What did Menelaus really give Telemachus? It was nothing less than a potent symbolic declaration that young man was worthy of royal authority. What powerful statements—and this time without words!

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