By Stephen Doherty
“The knowledge that makes us cherish innocence
makes innocence unattainable…” -Irving Howe
Every so often, the human spirit is treated to something so extraordinarily good and innocent that we are not only forced to take notice..but we are profoundly impacted by the experience. I’m not talking about just “cute.” I am talking about a presence of such pure innocence that it permeates our hearts in a way that few things ever do.
The world is rife with cuteness, much of it contrived Madison Ave marketing attempts to pull our heartstrings or the latest social media posts of someone’s kids or pets. I’m talking about something so genuine and authentic that it takes our breath away and leaves us, always, in a better place. Something that instantly dissolves all of life’s inherent negativity and immerses us in the loveliness of pure innocence and vulnerability. Think Bambi, in a Star Wars setting.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…Grogu! If you’ve watched the Disney Star Wars series called The Mandalorian, you will know exactly what I am talking about. Often referred to as “Baby Yoda” the little Jedi infant, Grogu-becomes the centerpiece of a galactic battle between some of the most powerful forces in the galaxy.
The classic struggle between good and evil is epic as The Mandalorian, one of the galaxy’s deadliest assassins, assumes the role of caretaker and protector of the helpless and innocent little Jedi who possesses great powers that he doesn’t yet know how to control. We’re reminded that innocence and helplessness is often just a precursor to fulfilled potential and greatness. The genius of the story is how the pureness and goodness of young Gorgu touches the hearts of some of the most calloused and irreverent scoundrels in the universe.
I was quite surprised at how it deeply impacted not just me-but my grown son and daughter who also became addicted to our weekly dose of this unexpected abundance of love and innocence. The affection we all quickly developed for young Grogu was authentic, sincere, and legitimate and it culminated with my daughter’s sweet assessment, “Life is just better when Grogu’s around!” Indeed! In an attempt to prolong the sweetness of this provocative glow, we ended up with Grogu Christmas cards and ornaments and my office is now adorned with an expensive and beautiful canvas memorializing this tiny cosmic waif.
I can’t say for certain whether the rise of Grogu is in response to the chaos and fatigue of our current malaise. I would like to believe that innocence this powerful and seductive would draw us in on any occasion we were exposed to it as a testament to the genuine dominance of good over evil in the human heart.
That pleasure of expediency may be fleeting, but it’s pleasure, nonetheless, and that’s something to stack up against the current barrage of seemingly endless maladies and never ending bad news. All I know is that something this delicate and innocent, like a rose blooming in the snow, is so ever worthy of our warm embrace and open heart. As with most iconic and unforgettable figures, I doubt the movie studio had any idea of the power and goodness that would be dispersed from this little green Jedi.
“A childlike innocence is requested by existence.
Every time, in every circumstance – a priceless purity.” – Ilie Cioara