Call me a nerd. Every night of my teen years, my family huddled together in front of the tube and fed our minds a serving a Star Trek: The Next Generation. It had a strange effect of both satiating my need for entertainment while stoking my envy. I needed to be on the Enterprise. Star Trek was progressive in a social sense because humanoids, Klingons, Vulcans, Romulans, and multi-ethnic beings all got along (okay, not always). It felt like a place where I could fit in because my own melting pot heritage often left me feeling like an outsider in a complicated society. For one hour a day, I was guaranteed acceptance.
But beyond being progressive, Star Trek was transcendent. “Space, the final frontier…” To me, as an adult, Star Trek now stands for two things. First, if humanity could just learn to trust one another, it would in turn learn to love. True brotherly love. If we could just achieve this basic fundamental as a race, great things would happen. I am reminded that I once read that trust and love are nearly the same thing. I find it hard to argue with this notion. They at least come from the same corner of the heart.
Second, mankind belongs on the frontier. In America, somewhere in the last fifty or sixty years, folks generally have embraced the idea that playing it safe is the best policy. Avoid risk at all costs because failure hurts. I can’t honestly say this mentality bad or wrong, but for me, I want to do more than merely exist. From my point of view, it seems like mankind is at its best living on the “frontier,” with our backs against the wall, with our success not guaranteed. On the outskirts, we find what we are made of, and we are forced to grow if we want to thrive. When we adopt this frontier mentality, I believe we evolve into better beings because of the challenges we willingly meet head-on. Yes, sometimes we get bowled over, but we will rise stronger and wiser.
Call me an idealist, but if Starfleet Academy opens its doors tomorrow, I’m joining up. I’ll wait tables in Ten Forward if I have to. Will you join me?
*Husky Harlequin is the author of the new time travel novel Time’s Alibi or The Quantum of Jazz Between the Sun and the Grave. It’s more than sci/fi; it’s a political statement. Grab a copy and visit another dimension during your lunch break.