I know “resistance is futile” when it comes to a borg invasion, but what else has that amazing world of Star Trek taught me? Here’s my take on the top 7 life lessons from Star Trek.
1. My friends don’t have to be similar to me. Look at Kirk and Spock. They are almost total opposites — about the only thing they have in common is their gender — and they are not only great friends but also work amazingly well together.
2. IDIC — Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination. This is a Vulcan principle, and it teaches that the universe is beautifully diverse, splendidly complex and all those differences are to be celebrated.
3. Be willing to take a stand — even die for — your principles. Starting with Kirk, all the Captains of Star Trek have taught us this (plus many other characters). They have all demonstrated this time and time again.
4. On the other hand, cheat death as many times as possible. As with hypothermia, you aren’t dead until you are warm and dead. (You can be very cold and seem totally dead, but doctors can still warm you up and bring you back… up to a point.) Life might look very bleak, but you can still side-step death at the last split-second — often by exploding something, but don’t necessarily live by that last part. Avoid fatalistic thinking and keep looking for a way.
5. Keep your head on in a crisis. You don’t see Scotty panicking and running around with “kermit hands” (think of how Kermit the Frog flails his hands when he is excited). Be prepared, know what you are doing and be creative in your problem solving, even under pressure!
6. Don’t be so concerned about honour. Worf taught me that one, initially, as an example of what not to do. By inference, this extends into not being concerned about appearances as well, or about what other people think.
7. Society can function without money. This one may take us a while to figure out — hopefully not because of a World War III — but I think eventually we will stop valuing money and make the transition to a moneyless society. We will all simply do what we enjoy and receive materially what we need or want (within reason).
Thank you, Gene Roddenberry, for sharing your vision of the future with all of us. It’s a good one.
Got other ideas? Add yours in the comments!