Losing both of your parents must be one of the toughest hands that life could possibly deal. Some of these children go into the state care system, some have close family that bring them up which of course is not always the better option. The 'not always the better option' for this particular family was a middle aged man called Owen and his gentle but long-suffering wife, Beru.
A wiry and weathered middle-aged man, Owen made a humble living as a farmer, spending most of his life working hard graft from dawn until dusk. He had very little to show for it and then along came the infant child of his step-brother. The child's father was murdered and the mother died in childbirth and there was no other family so it was down to them to raise this child. Heartbroken at their infertility as a couple, Beru doted on the baby as if he were her own but as the child grew up, Owen felt a growing resentment to this burden.
By the time reached his teenage years, it was clear the child would not become a farmer like his uncle. Like most adolescents he was a child trapped in an adults body, obsessed with staying out with his friends and bristling with attitude rather than gratitude. His Uncle starved him of love and with aggression, bordering on abuse he bullied the boy into manual labour on the farm, driving his desire to fly from the relative safety of the nest and inadvertently into the welcoming arms of predators.
There was, of course, a predator waiting. The strange old man that lived alone on the outskirts of the city had a charisma that drew the boy in, just like the others. There were rumours that he was either dead, mad or a paedophile which worked in his favour; the perfect cover for a leading figure in a terrorist organisation.
He had no idea he was being groomed; his naivety and desperation to leave home meant he was immediately hooked on the spun yarns of the struggle against oppression and the fight for freedom. His recruitment was accelerated by the tragic death of his Aunty and Uncle, for which he was partly responsible. His brief flirtation with terrorists had attracted the attention of the authorities and in a bungled raid, a fire started by a faulty grenade burnt the family home to the ground, with Owen and Beru trapped inside.
Their nephew was distraught, picking through the ashes of his belongings his heart breaking for the unconditional love of his Aunt, shocked yet indifferent to the death of his Uncle. It was too dangerous to stay at home and rebuild, even if he had wanted to. He himself was now a terrorist and he had no choice but to follow the path that had chosen him.
All he had was the old man, who of course had orchestrated the whole thing.
There his fate was sealed. Already sold on the logic of attacking the government, he now had a powerful emotional reason too. Revenge. The old man had successfully recruited and galvanised the spirit of the organisation's newest and potentially most capable agent. The orphan boy, bullied by his uncle whose only family were murdered by the authorities. The organisation would look after him now. They would feed him, train him and unleash him on a campaign of hate, murder and political destabilisation.
The boy's name name was Luke Skywalker. My childhood hero. Perspective is everything.
CEO & Co-founder of the PopUp Business School.