The Light is the Light. Only a child or a fool would let another tell them how to serve it. You may be offended, dear reader, but allow me to ask you this: why do you think so many orders recruit solely from the ranks of those too young to question what they're taught?
The stock answer is that children of a certain age are more malleable, that they can be taught to control their emotions, to eschew the bad stuff that leads to the Dark Side, but that's a load of bull. If you've ever worked with toddlers, you know it doesn't make a lick of sense. Trying to teach a 4 year old not to be angry or selfish is like trying to teach a bantha not to be hairy: it can be done, but by the time you're finished, what you're left with doesn't look much like a bantha. You can take those kids and twist them up until they're good little robots, but by then, they don't look much like kids anymore.
No, people like training up kids because they're malleable in an entirely different way. You get them while they're young, stuff their heads full of the fluff your head was pumped full of, and they'll be less likely to question when they're older. If you make them good little robots, they'll grow up to be good big robots, and another generation will carry on the fine tradition of meddling just enough to make a mess of things.
Of all the evils that can be laid at the feet of the Jedi, this is the one we should be most ashamed of.
With proper training and discipline, an adult can far more easily learn to control their emotions than a child, but they cannot be indoctrinated as easily. And so, we brainwash children.
Does this strike you as normal? Does this strike you as right? If it does, chances are, you're a victim of this process yourself, stripped from your family before you were too old to say no and forced into a life of servitude. You've been raised on dogma and blinded to the truth.
Dogma is the curse that has plagued the vast majority of Jedi Orders, and kept them from being true servants of the Light.
The Light does not demand that you think a certain way, that you adhere rigidly to any doctrine thought up by mortal minds. To serve the Light is to serve life itself, and no man can tell you how best to do that. Only children and fools would let them try. And so, Jedi Orders take children and raise them to be fools.
Dogma is the reason we pursue this endless, bloody war against the Sith.
"But the Sith are evil," you cry.
No, really? Sith are evil?
Bah. Of course they're evil. I don't need a group of old farts who get uncomfortable at the idea of an original thought to tell me so. I have eyes, and I serve life. It doesn't take a genius to see that the Sith serve no one but themselves, or that they sow death.
But the fact that they are evil does not automatically make the Jedi who oppose them good. We too have blood on our hands, dear reader. We too have caused the death of innocents, have waged war for no greater sin than heresy. It's not enough to protect the innocent anymore. We form armies and we go to war.
We've allowed the ends to justify the means, and in the process, we've stopped being servants of the Light. We've become the servants of dogma. Of doctrine. Of a belief system that justifies hate, so long as we cloak it in the best of intentions. Time and time again, we've let our sectarian feud tear the galaxy apart. Well, it's high bloody time we stopped.
Does that mean we stop fighting the Sith? Absolutely not. They're still evil, dear reader, though I suspect a great many of them had exactly as much choice as we did. If we are to serve the Light, we must logically preserve the life from which it springs.
Let no man, or woman, I suppose, tell you how best to do that.
If you believe, in your heart of hearts, that you're doing the right thing when you kill civilians by the job lot because their planet happens to be run by Sith, then by all means, ignore the ramblings of a mad old biddy with an axe to grind. As the kids say these days, you do you. But if you insist that this is right and proper, then I insist that you're a damned fool who's no better than the monsters you've sold your soul to fight.
If this doesn't sit right with you, then I invite you, dear reader, to ask yourself a question: what does the Light want of me? I can't answer that question for you. I can't even suggest an answer.
All I can tell you is what it has asked of me: to travel the galaxy and preserve life as best I can. And so, that's what I do. I answer to no Master, I follow no dogma but my own. I go where the Force takes me, and I try to help the best I can. Sometimes, that means chasing bandits from a village. Sometimes, that means helping them harvest their crops. Getting your hands dirty isn't as glamorous as swinging away with a lightsaber at the villain of the week, but tilling the soil is a far worthier cause than staining it with blood.
And if a Sith crosses my path, I do what I must. Sometimes, yes, that does mean I must fight. But if they offer no harm to me or those I'm determined to protect, then who am I to try to take their life, simply because they are what they are? Perhaps somewhere down the road, they may cause misery and mayhem, but the Force didn't appoint me judge, jury, and executioner.
How did the little goblin say it? "A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack."
Would you look at that. Maybe there's some dogma with a use after all.