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george lucas, what is happiness, star wars

'Star Wars' and 'Indiana Jones' creator George Lucas.

George Lucas is known for creating two of the most popular film franchises of all time, “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones.” Both sagas are great fantasy and adventure films that were elevated by powerful ideas taken from anthropology, religion and mythology.

Lucas has spent a lifetime thinking deeply about the human condition and weaving those themes into his art. So when he was asked to give a speech at the Academy of Achievement in 2013 about his road to success, his views on happiness were incredibly thoughtful.


They also sound a lot like the ideas that he’s shared in his films.

“Happiness is pleasure and happiness is joy,” he begins. “It can be either one, you add them up and it can be the uber category of happiness. Pleasure is short-lived. It lasts an hour, it lasts a minute, it lasts a month. And it peaks and it goes down. It peaks very high. But the next time you want to get that same peak you have to do it twice as much.”

In the video below he explains why the pursuit of pleasure leads us to only crave more while focusing on joy provides an inexhaustible well of happiness.

Lucas shared a similar observation with the writing staff of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and he related the same principle to the Force.

“Only way to overcome the dark side is through discipline,” he said. “The dark side is pleasure, biological and temporary and easy to achieve. The light side is joy, everlasting, and difficult to achieve. A great challenge. Must overcome laziness, give up quick pleasures, and overcome fear which leads to hate.”

Marlon Brando and Sacheen Littlefeather.

Nearly 50 years after Sacheen Littlefeather endured boos and abusive jokes at the Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is issuing a formal apology. In 1973, Littlefeather refused Marlon Brando's Best Actor Oscar on his behalf for his iconic role in “The Godfather” at the ceremony to protest the film industry’s treatment of Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award, the reasons for this being … the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

Littlefeather is a Native American civil rights activist who was born to a Native American (Apache and Yaqui) father and a European American mother.

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via Pixabay

A father cradling his infant son.

It's almost impossible to be handed a baby and not immediately break into baby talk. In fact, it seems incredibly strange to even consider talking to a baby like one would an adult. Studies have shown that babies prefer baby talk, too.

Researchers from Stanford found that babies prefer to be spoken to in baby talk or “parentese” as scientists refer to the sing-songy cooing we do when talking to infants.

“Often parents are discouraged from using baby talk by well-meaning friends or even health professionals,” Michael Frank, a Stanford psychologist, told Stanford News. “But the evidence suggests that it’s actually a great way to engage with your baby because babies just like it–it tells them, ‘This speech is meant for you!’”

The big question that has eluded scientists is whether parentese is a universal language or varies by culture.

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Bobby McFerrin demonstrated the power of the pentatonic scale without saying a word.

Bobby McFerrin is best known for his hit song “Don’t Worry Be Happy,” which showcased his one-man vocal and body percussion skills (and got stuck in our heads for years). But his musicality extends far beyond the catchy pop tune that made him a household name. The things he can do with his voice are unmatched and his range of musical styles and genres is impressive.

The Kennedy Center describes him: “With a four-octave range and a vast array of vocal techniques, Bobby McFerrin is no mere singer; he is music's last true Renaissance man, a vocal explorer who has combined jazz, folk and a multitude of world music influences - choral, a cappella, and classical music - with his own ingredients.”

McFerrin is also a music educator, and one of his most memorable lessons is a simple, three-minute interactive demonstration in which he doesn’t say a single word.

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