Life Lessons from Star Trek

3 Aug

Okay, let me start by saying that lots of people might not consider me a real Trekker because I only like Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager. I’m sorry, but all the other series were pretty over-rated in my opinion and while in some way I have great respect for them all, I have a special place in heart with these two because I bonded with my dad over them. That said, this nerdy obsession is part of my heritage and it would be even more so if Patrick Stewart would give in and adopt me as his grand-daughter. I mean, HOW MANY LETTERS DO I HAVE TO WRITE?!

So on with the show. These are bits and pieces of shows I’ve watched recently so this is in no way a comprehensive list. That would take ages…or light years. šŸ˜‰

“With all respect, Lieutenant, there are other people to do that job now.” Lt. Worf, Star Trek: TNG – Angel One


In this episode, most of the crew of the Enterprise is incapacitated by a cold of sorts. As the chain of command dwindles, Geordi is made acting-captain. In this scene, he tries to respond to a problem in engineering when Worf tells him (in a surprisingly tender moment) to delegate. You can visually see Geordi reset after this moment as he realizes his new job is to command from the helm.

This moment is far from central to the plot and yet it’s really one of the only memorable moments from the episode. As far as I can remember, Geordi is never forced to take command of the ship again (he’s fourth or fifth down on the list of seat-fillers) but he really shines in the role.

Life lesson here: When you’re managing a small catastrophe, it’s okay to delegate. Ask some competent (operative word) friends or family members to help you with your struggles. This week, in my own life, I realized how very seldom I ask people to pray for me. I think that support alone can work wonders.

 

“The only person you are truly competing against, Wesley, is yourself.” Captain Picard, Coming of Age

Young acting-ensign Wesley (left) is competing against three other brilliant candidates for entry into Star Fleet Academy. When he loses by only a matter of a few points to the fellow on the right, he returns to the Enterprise feeling like he’s disappointed everyone. In a rare moment of child-friendliness, Picard encourages him by showing that he will surely improve next time because of his experience. Then he slips in the golden nugget of a quote above.

Life lesson? You haven’t really failed if you’ve tried you’re hardest and bettered yourself by the experience. As long as you continue to grow and improve, you are, in some way, succeeding.

 

Lieutenant Worf: You look for battles in the wrong place. The true test of a warrior is not without, it is within.
[he thumps against his chest]
Lieutenant Worf: Here, here is where we meet the challenge. It is the weaknesses in here a warrior must overcome.
Captain Korris: No.
Lieutenant Worf: You have talked of glory and of conquest, and legends we will write.
Captain Korris: Yes. The birthright of every Klingon.
Lieutenant Worf: Yet in all you say, where are the words ‘duty’, ‘honor’, ‘loyalty’? Without which a warrior is nothing!
TNG: Heart of Glory

This episode is a bit hard to describe if you haven’t seen a lot of Star Trek. Basically Lt. Worf is a Klingon who was raised by humans and has never truly experienced what it’s like to be a part of the warrior race he was born into. Klingons live for war and it consumes every part of their being so Worf is a conflicted person. He loves a fight and his very blood desires it but he has formed his alliance with the federation who are peace-loving. In this episode, for the first time, he is joined by Klingon brothers who have deserted their ship and the peace treaty between their race and the federation. They want to fight as their nature demands and they challenge Worf by asking how he does not want the same. The entire conflict ends in a stand off where Worf defends himself by saying that he has always felt the exact same way and yet he overcomes it by conquering his own heart. For Worf, the bravest and most noble act is to battle what’s inside him for the sake of his honor and for loyalty to his crew.

None of us are Klingons…I think, but I think we can all relate to Worf’s struggle on some level. Maybe you don’t want to fight and conquer but maybe you struggle with the deep desire to spend money on things you shouldn’t. Or eating things you shouldn’t. Or drinking too much. We all have vices that we wrestle with each day and while others may look at our lives and not understand what we’re doing with ourselves, they cannot see the battles we’ve endured inside and the victories we have earned. The greatest wars are won in the heart where our enemy is our lesser selves. A real klingon warrior is made so by the refusal to be ruled by outside forces as well as inward temptations.

 

So that’s all for the day but this was fun! Hopefully I’ll be doing it again soon and you guys can join me for some more eye-rolling or knowing nods. Viva la nerds!

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One Response to “Life Lessons from Star Trek”

  1. Intrepid Girl August 3, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    Two thumbs up from Dad!

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