The Big Bang Theory-The Proton Transmogrification

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Kevin Rigdon (@pralix1138)

Sheldon gets a little help from the force in dealing with the passing of his own personal Obi-wan in “The Proton Transmogrification,” the newest episode of The Big Bang Theory. In preparing for May the Fourth, The gang learns that Arthur Jeffries, Professor Proton himself, has died and the funeral is to be held on Star Wars Day. Through the lens of loss to death, the emphasis of the episode comes through loud and clear: Live.

At the funeral that Sheldon refuses to go to, since, according to him, “mourning the inevitable is a complete waste of time,” Leonard begins to reflect on his own life: not so much the thought of impending death, but having no regrets. In other words, often in our lives, we are so consumed with the future, and our own neuroses and pathologies that we truly forget to live. As they sit in the middle of a swamp on Dagobah, the glowing, Obi-wan-ish, Arthur advises Sheldon to appreciate the people in his life; those people who are still here for him.

Sheldon’s Pop-Pop died when Sheldon was five, and his dad died when he was fourteen, and now Professor Proton. Much of his early life was spent in trying to escape the banality of his east Texas childhood, and not fully appreciating his life as he grew or the people who filled it, thus the admonition to consider, and even cherish, the people in his life who love him.

With the full realization that this is a Star Wars episode, some wisdom from Dumbledore kept popping into my head as I watched it: “It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live.” In a culture where one’s worth is often determined by what we do rather than who we are, this is some advice that we need to hear over and over again. Cherish your time with your family and friends.

Live by slowing down and being with your loved ones. Live by changing the diapers of children who will all too quickly be grown and out of the house. Live by gathering a group of friends to have a movie marathon. Live by taking that call from a parent who just wants to touch base to know you’re doing ok because they love you.

Although not the funniest episode ever, this week the gang reminded us that we live, truly live, by getting out of ourselves and participating in the lives of others. We acknowledge the inherent value of others. We live together.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars


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