Lessons from Star Trek

When I was a child, I had the best time playing Star Trek with my friends.  My best friend’s family allowed us to set up their basement as our ship–we had the bridge, a sick bay, engineering, and even a computer to talk to (older brother speaking through the laundry shoot).  It was awesome.  Here is our little crew–I always loved being the doctor 🙂

Playing Star Trek

At that time in my life, we were just playing; I had no idea how much I was learning. Looking back, I’m so grateful that I had creative friends. We learned how to problem solve and work together and we had a blast doing it. So, there’s a lesson from Star Trek way back then.

Recently, my husband and I have been getting in touch with our inner ‘trekkies’ as we have been watching most of the episodes in order from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Nope, no apologies or anything about being nerdy–there are actually some really good episodes in there.  Last night, we watched “Relics,” an episode where the Next Generation finds Scotty from the Original Series after he has been basically preserved in a transporter beam for 75 years.  Basically, the Next Generation crew sees Scotty as unable to really contribute anything since all the technology he knew is no longer used.  However, Scotty wants desperately to be needed and to be able to be useful.  When La Forge is having a difficult time accessing some information from the computer in Scotty’s old ship, Captain Picard encourages La Forge to ask for Scotty’s help.  In the end, Scotty is the one who figures out to save the Enterprise from a situation where the crew was in serious danger.  He is able to find a place in this new world where he can help and be important.

Relics (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

I was surprised by how much the episode affected me.  It really got me thinking about 2 things–

1) When I am at the point in my life where I am no longer raising children, when I’m no longer in the PTA, etc., what am I really going to want out of life?
2) How do I really treat the people who are elderly around me? Do I find ways they can contribute? What can I do better?

The first is something I will have to continually think about and will probably change as I become wiser and understand myself better through the years, but something I think I need to keep in the forefront of my mind. I want to make sure that I am able to look back on my life and smile and be proud of what I have done. I need to continually think about my priorities and make sure I’m doing those things each day that will make my future self content with the life I have led.

The second is something I need to answer now. I know that I need to treat the people who are elderly around me better. I so often feel the need to serve them, and do things for them that might be difficult.  However, although that is important, one of the best ways I can serve is helping them see they are still so important and needed.  The people in my life who are older can teach me and my children so much if we will let them.

It might seem strange that I can get life lessons from Star Trek, but really, I think we can learn important lessons many places we look.  Live long and prosper 😉

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4 thoughts on “Lessons from Star Trek

  1. Amy–I love this. I have been troubled from time to time about how much our culture of rapidly-changing technology sort of pokes fun of people who can’t keep up (which winds up being older people generally). I feel like it invalidates the experiences and contributions that they’ve made for decades! I love what you said about the most important thing you can do for them, to make them feel still important and useful. That’s how I want to feel when I’m older, so I’d be happy to make others feel that way. And it’s not just us making them feel that way, I believe they really are still important and useful.
    (Also, I loved playing Star Trek too. Good memories. 🙂 )

    • Great insights, Angie. I agree completely about how our culture treats those who seemingly can’t keep up with the technology. And thank you for the insight about not just making the older people in our lives feel they are important, that they still are truly so important to our lives.

  2. I love finding lessons out of movies and any kind of life experience. I believe that everything around us affects us in some way. BTW – I used to take my family to nursing homes to visit the elderly.
    This started when they were babies, so it was really neat the way they learned to love elderly at a young age. Thus – we ended up spending every Christmas or Christmas Eve in a nursing home (until this year – we didn’t go this year… boo hoo). I really want to get back to that. I’m thankful to come here and be reminded of those sweet memories. 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment–I really want to make a tradition of visiting those in nursing homes as well. I appreciate you saying that you took your children even as babies. With such young children, I have worried that we would just be a bother going as as a whole family, but maybe we’re ready after all.

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