The Importance of Star Trek.


I hope you readers will forgive the massive geek out about to happen.

I was talking to a friend about Star Trek today and just got really sad all of a sudden. For me, Star Trek has been a part of my childhood – my dad introduced me to it, and I grew up watching it. One of my earliest memories was watching Jean Luc Picard assimilating into a borg and feeling scared out of my wits. Another is laughing with glee at Kirk and Spocks reunion. But more than that, I remember how inspirational it was, to watch this old junky show with it’s bad special effects and terrible costumes. It had so much heart, and hope. How wonderful to imagine the future and see humanity looking forward, establishing peace with other planets, not just races. To imagine technology so advanced that it could connect loved ones across the reaches of space, or medicine capable of curing plagues.

For me, Star Trek was a love letter to the future. It was like someone wrote down all the hopes for the future and truly believed that it could come true. That humanity could persevere against all of the horrible things we commit against each other and rise above. That humanity wouldn’t ever be perfect – but by god we could try to be better.

Halfway through the conversation, I realized that it had been so long since I last read anything that seemed hopeful about the future. Almost every novel I read within the sci-fi or young adult world deals with dystopia, or apocalyptic scenarios. Don’t get me wrong – I understand the importance of such narratives, and the conversations that erupt around them, especially when pertaining to current events. I guess I just got sad because it seemed like we’ve all given up on dreaming about the future. Whenever we look forward, it’s to a black and merciless sky. How tiring to always be facing such a bleak bleak future. How frustrating to keep believing in humanity’s brilliance, or compassion, or hope.

In times like this, I think it’s easy to become dispirited by all the awful, awful things you see and hear near constantly. That’s not to say that we should turn our eyes away from the many important issues our world faces. There are so many problems, but there are also so many wonderful, ordinary people fighting to create a better tomorrow.

I suppose halfway through my conversation I started wondering when I had forgotten to look at the world the way Star Trek had taught me to – as one wonderful, broken, unimaginable vast cosmic mystery.



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