Anakin had to become a Sith...

Discussion in 'Revenge of the Sith' started by millenniumteacher, Dec 16, 2005.

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  1. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    1. Qui-gon was making a guess. The Jedi Council were labeling him as a mysterious warrior or the Queen's attacker. 2. It wasn't a lesson for Anakin. He wasn't even there when in the Council chambers.

    Obi-wan could've trained him to use the Force, but Anakin could say "I will learn the Force, but I will not be a part of your Jedi Order." Jedi can leave the Order. And if they leave, they can still use the Force to save lives, just not as a Jedi Knight. Beforing finding out he was evil, the Council assumed that Dooku was using his Jedi training as a political idealist. They cannot concieve that he is evil.



    Anakin's being selfish because he is wanting to cheat death. Sometimes you cannot cheat death. Medicial science, for all it's good, cannot conquer death. Prolong it, but not indefinately. And Anakin's motivations are selfish because he's thinking about how he'll be affected. Not how the other one feels. She wasn't foolish. She was trying to get her husband to unclench and to let her help him. But he was being selfish, because he didn't want to let her in. Being married is about working together. Not alone.

    Besides, it's not childbirth that kills her. It is Anakin's betrayal that does it. He's so obsessed with this, that he's not listening to reasoning or to his Jedi training. His Jedi training tells him that the future is always in motion. And Yoda reminds him to be careful. He doesn't listen and so it's his own fault for not minding what he has learned, because it would've saved him a hellva lot of greif.


    You can make mistakes, but you can also avoid making them in the first place. We're all faced with that choice. If we stop and think, we can avoid the mistakes and not pay any penalities later.

    Empathy, not so much. I don't think. But being able to look at things from another point of view is important. Anakin needed to see things from his wife's point of view and his Master's. He can't be just thinking of himself all the time.

    It's not forcing Anakin to do it. It's a part of his training. Jedi put themselves on the live for others all the time. Same as other fictional heroes. Same as real life heroes. You have to go out and do things that could threaten your life and not worry about personal distractions. You can't always be thinking that you have to do this, when you're in the middle of doing something important. You can't let personal feelings interfere with your work. You can't let your emotions control you.

    Charity as a reward in and of itself is or should be all that matters. Knowing that you done well for others is what counts. Getting honored
  2. Dezdmona Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2005
    star 4
    Yes, you still have to make mistakes, and learn from them. The next time you are confronted with a similar situation you will recall your past experience and (hopefully) not repeat your previous mistake.

    The problem with the idea of "learning not to be selfish" in this lesson is that "bad guys" learn from their mistakes, too. ;)

    Empathy - Yes. That idea blends well with "voluntarily doing it". If you can empathize with someone, you are likely to voluntarily reach out to them. To empathize with someone means that you understand their feelings and or situation. You honestly don't reach out for any "reward" you might receive in return. Though there is usually some small token, perhaps a smile or a thank you, but that is reward enough. :)
    You are absolutely correct in that it cannot be forced. If it doesn't come from the heart, it is an empty gesture. (not selflessness)
  3. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    mistakes are part of it. and in order to progress, you must do things differently. it's the simple truth. true, sometimes things can be avoided, but it's arrogance to think that the steos aren't necessary anymore, that the journey isn't part of it.


    well, sure he should have been able t step out of his pov. he wasn't. i don't know what the word for it is anyway.


    if the training says, we aren't allowed possessions, then that's forcing it, wouldn't you say?
    if charity is the reward, how is the deed selfless?
    and if your rules are like that, how are you not arrogantly definfing it as the only possible way to live?

    you cannot love everyone if you are loved back? what kind of sick philosophy is that?
    suppose that's a very general definition of learning, yes.
    what puzzles me (and it has done so throughout my stay here at tfn i think) is how it can be taught without interfering with the individual self-realization. you know, we don't always arrive at the point of knowing what selflessness means at the same time.
  4. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Steos?

    My point is that one who thinks clearly and logically, they can determine on their own if they are going to make a mistake or not. Case in point, Anakin and Padme knew it was not a good idea to get married. Instead of avoiding it, they went and did it anyway. They paid a price for making a mistake.


    Humility, perhaps. He needs to see that the world doesn't revolve around him.

    No, it's coming to an understanding of what you need to be and need to do. It doesn't apply so much to clothing, weapons and other creature comforts. It applies to people.

    The deed is selfless because you are thinking of others and knowing that you've made a difference. In being selfless, you're putting your needs second to others.

    For the Jedi and non-Jedi, it is the only way to live. Han goes from greedy and selfish to being compassionate and selfless. A Jedi must make that same transition.

    You can love and be loved back. You just cannot be emotionally attached to someone where you are putting your needs ahead of someone else.
  5. DragonBalls Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Yoda new that the prophesy had not been miss read but he could not tell people the truth because that would stop Anakin becominig a sith.Yoda had to hide the truth from every one.
  6. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    so yoda knew anakin had to become a sith and that was part of the prophecy? welcome! *shakes hand enthusiastically*
  7. Dezdmona Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2005
    star 4
    Good point. I'm not sure the two can be separated. It is part of the growth toward an individuals self-realization.
    And you are right again, we do not all arrive at the point of knowing what selflessness is at the same time -- some never arrive there.

    It probably goes back to the old saying - "Charity begins at home".

    Hopefully a child is taught early and often to think about the feelings of others and this lesson is reinforced by his/her parents and mentors as s/he matures. If this happens, sleflessness will occur naturally for that person.
  8. bob742006 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 16, 2006
    hey new here something bothers me mace was about to kill sidious right then way did we need anakin to become vader to destroy the sith, i mean mace was about too and if anakin was there as a true jedi with mace they could of destroyed sidious am I right?
  9. YYZ-2112 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2004
    star 4
    This cannot be, and I'll elaborate why.

    he sais clearly in the film that lies and deceit are the ways of the dark side and the Sith. If he employed the darkside ways then why would he be a part of the Jedi Order?; an order opposite to that ideal; according to what he utters from his own mouth.

    This relates to a simple truth; the devil cannot divide his own kingdom against himself. There's no logic in this move. Also if he knew Anakin had to become a Sith to destroy Sidious; then why send Obi Wan after him. Wouldn't it be more prudent to let Anakin fullfill his destiny; as a Sith; according to the notion that he had to become one to destroy Sidious? More importantly; why would Yoda bother confronting Sidious if in his mind only Anakin could defeat him? Wouldn't that be an useless gesture and unnessesary risk?

    What Yoda sais throughout the saga is the plain truth according to his perspective at the time. Now I won't argue that later in the Saga, Yoda may have felt Anakin's fall was part of that prophecy; because even though I strongly disagree, it's a reasonable argument that has some debateable merit. The idea that during the time of the prequels, Yoda thought Anakin had to fall, is incorrect. It goes against not only what Yoda sais but also what he does.
  10. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Obi-wan and Yoda both lose faith in the prophecy and Anakin. That's why they do not believe he can come back and why they never speak of it again. They did not know that Anakin had to become a Sith. In fact, he doesn't have to be evil. He made that choice, because he was selfish. He chose to run from his destiny, instead of cutting Palpatine's head off. He chose the quick and easy path to power. The prophecy may have been misread, but Anakin's still the Chosen One. He still brings balance by killing the Sith. The Jedi were causalties of Anakin's greed and Palpatine's machinations.
  11. PMT99 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 23, 2000
    star 4
    1. Qui-Gon was proven correct even though it costed him his life. 2. It doesn't matter if Anakin was at the Council Chambers or not because the Jedi would eventually have to tell him who the Sith are.

    Because their arrogance blinded them to the possibility that a Jedi can turn evil and plus, Obi-wan told Anakin, "You've made a commitment to the Jedi Order, a commitment not easily broken" which means that it's not possible for any Jedi to leave since they were raised in the temple and its the only home Anakin has.


    How can Anakin listen to reason or his Jedi training after what happened to his mom? Padme doesn't know what it's like to have visions of loved ones dying and then have it become real so there's no way she could help Anakin.
  12. Dezdmona Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2005
    star 4
    Anakin's visions of Shmi were of the present - of things happening in the here and now.
    His visions of Padmé were of the future - of things that could be.

    Especially grief and times of confusion, Anakin should listen to reason.
  13. YYZ-2112 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2004
    star 4
    I don't agree with this. It's possible that they may have given up on Anakin for a time; including the conclusion of Episode three. But by the time Obi Wan was facing Vader in Episode Four, somthing changed in Obi Wan, something he had to convince Yoda to see in the Empire Strikes Back. Perhaps this change occured when Luke brought the message from Leia to him. In any event, if Obi Wan didn't feel Anakin could be saved he wouldn't have spared him on the Death Star. He would have died trying to fullfill his Jedi Mandate to kill Vader ; if that's what it had been. More importantly the Jedi Masters would not have sent Luke to face Vader and Sidious all by himself unless Luke was better equiped to deal with the conflict. He obviously didn't have the experience in force knowledge or swordplay to better deal with it than Yoda. The one area Luke was superior was his family ties to Anakin. But this would only matter to the Jedi if it was their intention to save Anakin, not destroy Vader. Personally, I'm inclined to believe that Yoda and Obi Wan atleast considered Padme's final words and at the very least were left with an undecided opineon on the matter.
  14. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Yes, but as I was saying, Anakin didn't know about the Sith until later. He was only made aware because he heard the Jedi talk about it while he was being rejected. Otherwise, he wouldn't know.

    No, Obi-wan said that it's not easy to break the commitment. He didn't say it was impossible. Just that not many Jedi have done it. That doesn't mean that it can happen, as Dooku proved. Yes, he had turned, but before then, it did happen.

    He can listen to reason by calming himself. Clearing his mind of question. Finding his center of being and focusing on it. By training himself to let go of his fears, will he be able to listen to reasoning. His problems stem from his attachment to people, which turns into fear and anger and hate. By learning to let go, can he truly save Padme.

    No, Padme doesn't know. But Padme can understand what he feels and he can let her help him.

    Obi-wan makes it clear that Darth Vader cannot come back. Luke only believes because he is his son and because he cannot believe that no one cannot come back. Obi-wan did try to kill Vader aboard the Death Star, but he couldn't. And when he saw Anakin's children, he sacrificed himself to get them out of there. Luke wasn't going aboard the Falcon and he had to do something, least Luke stay and be captured or killed.

    Yoda and Obi-wan were waiting until the time was right, so that they could train the twins to destroy the Sith. What they didn't realize is that Luke's compassion for his father would turn Vader back, allowing him to fulfill his destiny. Yoda was only hesitant to train Luke, because he has watched him through the Force and is disappointed with him. He's too much like his father and is afraid that he will become like his father. But he also knows that they don't have much choice. What Yoda says about there being another is reference to Leia, who he has forseen escaping from Vader. Thus if Luke is lost, they can shift over to her.

    Luke wasn't ready to face the Sith, because he took off before he was ready. Yoda points this out to him, when he tells him that Vader is h
  15. DT421 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2003
    star 5
    Please show us where Luke and Obi discuss Anakin coming back. The idea didn?t occur to Luke, until Luke was on Endor. What Obi tells Luke, is who his father IS in the moment, which is twisted and evil. Luke must confront this ? not the ounce of good that Luke felt.

    No. Obi did not try to kill Vader. Obi new that Luke?s destiny was tied to his father?s and wasn?t about to try and whack Vader.

    Then what was it that Luke had, according to Yoda, that he required no more training, sin? Luke had compassion and compassion is what ?conquers? the Sith.

    Simply killing the Sith, isn?t going to bring Balance back to the Force. It?s about conquering the Dark Side back into equal harmony with the Good Side. That?s why the Jedi were purged in the PT, because the Dark Side was within the Jedi also and they couldn?t see it. The Jedi had the same fear and inability to let go, just as Anakin had and it?s perfectly illustrated here:

    MACE WINDU: Then our worst fears have been realized. We must move quickly if the Jedi Order is to survive.

    ANAKIN: Master, the Chancellor is very powerful. You will need my help if you are going to arrest him.

    MACE WINDU: For your own good, stay out of this affair. I sense a great deal of confusion in you, young Skywalker. There is much fear that clouds your judgment.


    Mace can point out Anakin?s fears, yet can?t even see the same thing within himself. This is the Jedi Order, personified.

    Do you think Anakin killing Palps, in the reveal scene, would have brought Balance? You think Anakin wouldn?t still have allowed fear to dictate his actions in trying to save Padme, even after killing Palps?

    At least Yoda had left the door open to other possible interpretations of the Prophecy:

    OBI-WAN: With all due respect, Master, is he not the Chosen One? Is he not to destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force?

    MACE: So the prophecy says.

    YODA: A prophecy . . . that misread could have been.


    It isn?t about simply killing Sith. It?s about conquering the Dark Side, starting with conquering the Dark Side within the Jedi Order.

    Yoda and Obi, under the tutelage of Qui-Gon, will have 20 years to figure this out.

  16. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Obi-wan dismisses Luke's notions that Anakin could come back. He knows that it cannot be done, because he could not do it. Nor could Padme.

    He knew that Luke's destiny was to not die now. Obi-wan knew that he had to go alone, but that he wouldn't face Vader until he did. And Obi-wan fought against him.

  17. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    i have been reading lots about how we must allow emotions and not repress them which may be really old to you.
    there seems to be an correlation with what you want as an individual and what the collective wants. and identity is shaped between those two i think. because there is self-preservation and also the immense reward you get by giving. but my logic is that you can only give in abundance if you have. and maybe christians have it easier on that part because they have the security of the love of god.
    anyway, i'm not finished with thinking about how you can make people go the path without actually forcing them. and if they don't accept it, it's also their choice, you know what i mean?
    i also have the feeling that children, when brought up in a loving climate and in tune with their feelings, will be able to relate to other's pain and joy (to just give those two broad categories) naturally without anyone telling them what to feel.

    bringing this back to anakin here, i have the feeling that had he been able to deal with his feelings and his past in a meaningful manner (and not having to be quiet about it), he might have emotionally matured to the point that he would have known what is wrong with him. but then i'm also convinced that this kind of emotional learning doesn't take place without being involved in situations and with people who 'talk about things' for lack of a more suitable phrase.
  18. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    logic isn't everything. they paid a price and probably would still do it again. that's human nature for you.
    look, maybe you haven't seen it that way before. but the world does revolve around him: he is the chosen one and it's only through him that things will be set either right or wrong. so technically he has every right to demand people to treat him acccording to this status. but he doesn't even do that. he just wants a family. pretty humble, wouldn't you say?
    if someone tells you what you need and what you don't need that's patronizing and it's forcing it. do you see the point?
    but if you have a reward as in feeling good about yourself, it cannot be absolute anymore, can it? you know what absolutes are, right? what the sith deal in all the time.
    yes, i'm talking about the *how* of that transition. how do you go from being human and wanting people's love and affection and material possessions to selflessness which we have just deduced isn't an absolute? how do you get there? by force? well, if you do that, you will make something like loving a duty and that doesn't work in my book.
  19. DT421 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2003
    star 5
    Again, where? Luke doesn?t come up with the ?notion? of bringing his father back, until he was on Endor ? after his last convo with Obi.

    Yes, Obi fought Vader, but he did not try to kill him. The whole thing was to buy time and to show Vader a lesson about the ?true? nature of the Force.

    YODA: No more training do you require. Already know that, which you need.

    Lucas also says this, sin:

    "Even though at some point Yoda and Ben interfered, I eventually decided that they couldn?t connect physically with what Luke was doing. I felt that one of the major issues in the third film is that Luke is finally on his own and has to fight Vader and the Emperor by himself. If you get a sense that Yoda or Ben is there to help him or to somehow influence him, it diminishes the power of the scene."

    ? George Lucas, quoted in L. Bouzereau, Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays, 1997

    "In coming back to see Yoda, we have to figure out Luke?s training and the fact that he never finished his training, and that obviously now he?s got a big question he wants answered. There is a point where the hero has to be left alone on his own two feet without anybody there to help him. And you can sort of have him be in a different place or something, but at some point you have to say well now all the props have been taken away, and he has to face the evil monster alone. In this case, the scene establishes that the evil monster is actually his father, and he?s going to have to do it upon his own, and that he?s really not equipped to do it. That he was too impatient, he didn?t finish his studies, and now he?s going to be half trained to face a difficult physical and emotional challenge."

    -- George Lucas, DVD Commentary, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, 2004


    Luke isn?t equipped to kill the Sith, but he can conquer them and does so, through compassion.

    If you have the quote where George is saying that the Sith have to be killed to restore Balance, could you put it out there, so that I may update my collection. :)

    Because, as of now, Lucas boils things down to the Dark and Light/Good Sides of the Force and that is what needs Balancing.

    "The film is ultimately about the dark side and the light side, and those sides are designed around compassion and greed. The issue of greed, of getting things and owning things and having things and not being able to let go of things, is the opposite of compassion?of not thinking of yourself all the time. These are the two sides?the good force and the bad force. They're the simplest parts of a complex cosmic construction."
    ?-George Lucas

    "The Jedi are trained to let go. They're trained from birth," he continues, "They're not supposed to form attachments. They can love people- in fact, they should love everybody. They should love their enemies; they should love the Sith. But they can't form attachments. So what all these movies are about is: greed. Greed is a source of pain and suffering for everybody. And the ultimate state of greed is the desire to cheat death."

    --George Lucas, The Making Of Revenge Of The Sith, page 213

    "As evil begins to take over, it pushes the Force out of balance. It's easier to succumb to evil than it is to be a hero
  20. Dezdmona Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2005
    star 4
    darth_frared posted

    i have been reading lots about how we must allow emotions and not repress them [...]


    Yes, it is important to allow emotions and not ?stuff? them.

    there seems to be an correlation with what you want as an individual and what the collective wants. and identity is shaped between those two

    Correlation does not mean causality. Society does influence the individual. But the individual still has free will. Identity is an interaction between the two. Individual perceptions of life events experienced or observed will alter the outcome of that interaction in a unique way for each person.

    i think. because there is self-preservation and also the immense reward you get by giving. but my logic is that you can only give in abundance if you have. and maybe christians have it easier on that part because they have the security of the love of god.

    Giving in ?abundance? is not the only way to give. The gift of time or a ?random act of kindness? counts, too. I wouldn't narrow spirituality to Christians. Faith is "the larger mystery of the Universe" :)

    anyway, i'm not finished with thinking about how you can make people go the path without actually forcing them. and if they don't accept it, it's also their choice, you know what i mean?

    No one forces anyone to make the choices they do. I think the concept your looking for is ?modeling?. People observe others whose values and ideals are attractive and they develop a desire to follow in their footsteps. The choice is made willingly.

    i also have the feeling that children, when brought up in a loving climate and in tune with their feelings, will be able to relate to other's pain and joy (to just give those two broad categories) naturally without anyone telling them what to feel.

    Yep, that?s modeling again.

    bringing this back to anakin here, i have the feeling that had he been able to deal with his feelings and his past in a meaningful manner (and not having to be quiet about it), he might have emotionally matured to the point that he would have known what is wrong with him. but then i'm also convinced that this kind of emotional learning doesn't take place without being involved in situations and with people who 'talk about things' for lack of a more suitable phrase.

    I don?t know that Anakin HAD to be quiet about his feelings. There is so much interaction during his maturation that isn?t shown. Anakin had already learned to keep secrets before the Jedi even found him on Tatooine. Critical social learning takes place during the first five years of life. While Anakin was learning about compassion from Shmi, he was also learning about greed and abuse (and stuffing emotions) from Watto.
  21. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    The thing is that emotions aren't helpful if they control you. The Jedi teach their own to control their emotions and to not be ruled by them. This is Lucas' message to us. To not be an emotional sap, otherwise we'll never get anywhere.

    Anakin's destiny is to kill the bad guys. That's it. Other than that, he's no different than anyone else. And demanding people treat him with respect is damaging to him. That's being a Sith Lord. A Sith has pride. A Jedi does not. He needs to earn respect, not demand it. And it's not a family that he wants. He wants to rule the galaxy and control people's lives. And if he can't have that, then he'll act like a petulent child and throw a temper tantrum.

  22. DT421 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2003
    star 5
    KI-ADI: Impossible! The Sith have been extinct for a millennium.

    MACE WINDU: I do not believe they could have returned without us knowing.


    The Sith aren?t the only ones causing the Dark Side to grow, creating the imbalance to the Force, sin. The Sith didn?t push themselves through the door. The Jedi more, or less, opened it for them and invited them in, because of their blinding arrogance.

    The Jedi were so out of tune with the Living Force, they couldn?t see what was happening under their noses ? in the moment. This created an opportunity for Sidious to exploit. Sidious doesn?t have some Force vision clouding power. The Jedi clouded their vision, themselves:

    DARTH SIDIOUS: Your arrogance blinds you, Master Yoda.

    Both the Jedi and the Sith are causing the Dark Side to grow. The Jedi had allowed arrogance to put them in position of creating fear among them ? Fear of losing the Jedi Order and the Republic (Which was already lost), fighting an unknowingly fixed war to preserve them. This fear led to their suffering. Dooku isn?t merely a Jedi that went Sith. He is symbolic of the failings of the Jedi and Anakin was the icing on the cake.
  23. Dezdmona Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2005
    star 4
    We can certainly debate whether Watto abused Anakin. I think the story supports it - certainly emotional abuse, which is more damaging than physical abuse.

    Regarding greed, Anakin had been forced to race in the podraces by Watto (so Watto could bet money on him). Watto gained possession of Anakin through a podrace bet (this is one of Anakin's first disclosures). Anakin is an observant kid. He is aware he has been used as a tool for gambling. Gambling is all about greed.

    There were always two sides to Anakin, but he had an inate desire to model his mother's example.

    I agree that Anakin didn't have to stuff his feelings - he chose to.
    Perhaps I didn't state that clearly.

    He does have to learn to control his fear - or it will control him.

    Just to clarify: ultimately he isn't "more or less" forced to give up his hate:
    He must choose to either give up his hate or hold on to it.
  24. mandragora Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2005
    star 4
    The ROTS novel explicitly states that Anakin was badly beaten by Watto. In addition, he had a chip implanted that he knew would explode if he tried to escape. That should be enough to qualify as childhood trauma by any standards. Plus, what else happened when he was the property of Gardulla the Hutt is anybodies guess.

    The Novel also states that he took the abuse without a word of complaint (or something to that effect). This means he was indeed suppressing emotions/emotional trauma. When emotional trauma is suppressed in that way, it will continue to grow in the subconscious and start controlling the person's life. Exactly what happened with Anakin.

    People who have been abused as children have rather limited possibilities for "choosing" their emotional life. Simply telling them that they must give up their hate or control their fear won't work - if it would, there wouldn't be a need for a discipline called "psychotherapy."
  25. Dezdmona Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2005
    star 4
    Your preaching to the choir here. As a licensed psychotherapist, I'm acutely aware of that. Not all abused children develop disorders, it depends on the degree of abuse and positive mentors in their lives. In fact, most victims of abuse lead relatively normal lives; it's called "resilience" (i.e., the ability to transcend adversity).
    The concept we had been discussing was "free will" or whether Anakin had been FORCED to feel the way he did.
    My position is that he was not forced.

    The other thing I would mention is that I wouldn't notice someone's "limited possibilites", rather I would notice their "abilities" or "competencies". It opens up possibilites for a much more hopeful future. (Though you will likely have to let go of destructive habits along the way.):)
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