Enduring Life Lessons From Star Trek

Everything I Needed To Know

 

Just thought I would share philosophies of one of my favourite series as expressed by this poster.  Star Trek has been instrumental in projecting visions of the future especially TOS – The Original Series.  Its enduring legacy and impact on both individuals and the world around us is immeasurable. Below please find my analysis and comments on some of the series core philosophies the value of which, I believe extends well beyond the confines of individual, social, national and international ideas and beliefs.

  1. Seek out new life and new civilizations:  One of my favourite philosophies. One should always be willing to visit and learn from other peoples and cultures. It enables one to gain valuable knowledge and wisdom from others and also allows you to place yourself and your particular way of life into proper perspective.
  2. Non-interference is the Prime Directive: One should be hesitant to rush in and meddle in the affairs of others especially without taking the time to fully comprehend the situation and what repercussions any interference may have.
  3. Keep your phaser set on stun: When coming in contact with the unknown we generally allow our fears to overtake us. This often results in the use of unnecessary and deadly force in order to protect ourselves against a perceive threat. Exercising proper caution should allow us to properly explore the world around us – other relationships, peoples, cultures and nature from a position of health, curiousity and strength rather than fear.
  4. Humans are highly illogical: Self explanatory as human beings don’t always see their lives in proper perspective with respect to the “Big Picture”. We tend to rationalise things according to our own perspectives generally discounting that of others.
  5. There is no such thing as a Vulcan Death grip: Generally we tend to take every unfamiliar, strange and negative thing we hear about and exaggerate its effects or presence blowing it all out of proportion giving it mythical status.
  6. Live long and prosper: Here is another philosophy that is self-explanatory. We should endeavour to maintain our physical, mental and emotional health, wealth and prosperity and promote that within others.  Understanding that this is everyone’s goal should help us to keep everything in proper perspective and not attempt to acquire the aforementioned at the expense of others.
  7. Having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting; it is not logical but often true: Our desire for someone or something often exceeds our capacity for satisfaction. It is often the journey to achieving or procuring that brings the most joy, euphoria and satisfaction even if we are unable to recognise or understand it in the moment.
  8. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations (IDIC): Essentially variety is the driving mechanism behind creation and the perpetuation of life itself. This IDIC applies to the fundamental forces of nature, people, relationships,  societies, governments, philosophies, etc.  Until we truly understand and appreciate the variety and diversity of life and what it means in terms of development and evolution, we will continue to destroy ourselves and along with it any hope for a utopic future.
  9. Tribbles hate Klingons (and Klingons hate Tribbles): Of course this is a metaphor stating that in life there will always be conflict and adversaries. The challenge is to resolve differences in a constructive manner and to grow wiser from the disputes or trials that we face whether they be a) Man against Man, b) Man against Machine, c) Man against Nature; or d) Man against Himself.
  10. Enemies are often invisible, like Klingons they can be cloaked: Often the most dangerous of enemies and challenges we face are those that go unseen right under our own noses.  They can be family, those perceived as friends, our own people, culture, country, or even ourselves. The lesson here is to go through life with eyes and ears open; seek understanding and to expect the unexpected.
  11. Don’t put all your ranking officers in one shuttlecraft: A variation of “don’t place all of your eggs in one basket” meaning of course to always keep options open when possible.
  12. When logic fails, trust a hunch: Sometimes when the concrete things in our lives don’t seem to add up, we have to rely on and trust in our intuition.  This is an aspect bestowed upon Human Beings that we should come to understand, utilise and trust in. It is often our hunches or intuition that gives us the answers that we are searching for in spite of all logical information pointing to the contrary.
  13. Insufficient data does not compute: When seeking understanding, knowledge and wisdom it is necessary to gather as much information as possible. There is no getting around this. We must be thorough and dedicated in our research or investigation of someone or something prior to making life altering decisions. This includes the examination of ourselves,  our internal thoughts and feelings.
  14. If it can’t be fixed, just ask Scotty: Always searching for alternative answers and trying to “re-invent the wheel” so to speak is not necessarily the best option when there are practical methods available for solving problems whether simple or complex. We must employ wisdom in knowing when to use tried and true methods and when it is necessary to explore alternatives.
  15. Even in our own world, we are sometimes aliens: The wisdom expressed here is simply appreciating yourself and others for what they are and not what we would expect or like them to be. We are all different and some more than others. We shouldn’t always have to (or want to) sacrifice our uniqueness in order to fit in. It is our uniqueness that makes us special!
  16. When going out into the Universe, remember – Boldly go where no man (no one) has gone before: We should never fear exploring the unknown in nature, each other or ourselves. As long as we are “grounded” within ourselves and who we are, exploring the unknown will greatly enhance our knowledge and appreciation for that which is vastly different from ourselves.

I really love Star Trek particularly the original series. It has had a unique influence on my life growing up as a child especially with respect to my view of myself and the world around me.  Gene Roddenberry was definitely someone ahead of his time. Outside of our offspring, rarely do we create something that impacts life in such a profound way.

I sincerely hope that the aforementioned philosophies will be of some benefit to all who read it and assist you in making our world (and beyond) better for us and future generations.

Star-Trek-logo1

Adiuva me verterem figuram mundi  Thoth II

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