I am a little too young to have enjoyed the original Star Trek on TV. I have seen all the movies and enjoyed them immensely. So for me, I am definitely more of a Next Generation (TNG) fan; I watched the TV series religiously.
After TNG ended, life changed and I moved on to other things. Some things about the show, and Star Trek in general, stuck with me. And as I think back on it, I wanted to share 5 things that Star Trek taught me about myself (and about life).
I like older men, particularly if they have a French name. Riker-schmiker, Jean-Luc was the man! From the moment I started watching TNG I was charmed by Captain Picard. Of French origin, but somehow with a British accent (huh?), Jean-Luc was worldly and sophisticated, calm and cool, subtle and smooth. I had always been a sucker for older men, but this confirmed that my preference was European as well.
Co-workers can be like your family from time-to-time and like family, they can sometimes drive you crazy. When I started my professional career, I dove in completely. I had no work-life balance. My co-workers at work were also my friends and it was impossible to separate the two. There are a lot of positives that come with having that kind of relationship, but there are also many negatives.
You sometimes forget your boss is the boss and not a friend. Love affairs that go wrong can make future work interactions tricky. Sometimes you need an escape from your “crew.” As I moved along in my career, I realized that separation of work and the rest of your life is important, and I learned to maintain different relationships with co-workers that were healthier and more productive. I never forget who the captain is and I always have an escape pod!
There is always a way. The Star Trek crew, no matter original, TNG, Deep Space Nine, Enterprise or Voyager never gave up or gave in. They sometimes came close, but in the end, they always found a way to not get blown up. So when you think the situation is impossible and there are no outs, think twice. There is always an alternative.
Call your Geordi when you need an engineering mine, your Data when you need an impartial opinion, or your Warf if you need someone to kick some ass, but more likely than not, there is someone in your crew who can help you get out of any tough situations.
Being open-minded about other cultures is critical to the success of our galaxy. Having grown up a military brat, I pretty much followed this edict religiously. I believe we must embrace our differences and make room for everyone on this planet. Sure there are times where the Romulans or Klingons might need a smackdown or warning, but ultimately open communication and acceptance will get you a lot farther than war, violence, or brute force.
I may not always agree with everyone I encounter, but I certainly respect their freedom to think and be different from me. That is what makes this universe interesting.
My favorite: Resistance is futile. More than 20 years later I STILL use this phrase! Basically, life is short and full of unexpected occurrences. Don't fret over it, don't resist. Go with the flow; make every day count for what it is, and nothing more. You can fight it, or you can use that energy to live life more fully. You decide.
Bonus: Get out there and explore! The world is vast and there is so much to discover. Near or far, I little exploring never hurt anyone!
Live long and prosper.
Got something that Star Trek taught you about life?
[This post was originally published on November 24, 2009, but has been updated.]