ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How Star Trek Has Inspired Us, and How Much More We Have to Learn

Updated on June 11, 2020
Mr Archer profile image

Live and let live. I believe this wholeheartedly. It is not my place to judge, but allow me the same latitude.

I wish this for you
I wish this for you | Source

I admit it, I am a Trekkie...

I saw my first Star Trek episode in the late 1960's, after it had gone off the air and into syndication. I have now been a Trekkie for over 50 years, half a century. I am proud of it, and will flash you Spock's hand gesture (with either hand I might add!) anytime I think it is appropriate.

Today, I feel it is especially appropriate. "Live long and prosper".

How simple, and how profound. Saying to another to enjoy long life and good luck; enjoy family and prosperity; good fortune to you.

Now, how many of us wish that for ourselves? And, alternately, how many of us wish that for others? ALL others?

I do. Do you?

So, what Star Trek film am I viewing this evening?

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. I love the interplay between the cast members in this one, a bit more humor than a normal Star Trek episode or film, a bit more humanity. I'll go into what I see when I watch this one later, but first I want to specifically speak on what the series has given humanity, and then what we still have to learn from it.

So, what have we learned from it? In particular, in this film, we learn that to destroy another species (whales) leads us to open the door for catastrophe. Regarding this, Spock says, most eloquently I might add, that "To hunt a species to extinction is not logical". It might be that the extinction of the whales is a catastrophe here, most certainly to some extent when speaking of the health of the world, of our home planet. When we cause the extinction of a species such as the whales, we are killing our world. Kind of like the saying "cut your nose off to spite your face" is saying to us. Causing harm for harm's sake is both destructive to the host and stupid.

But we have another catastrophe looming, one sitting on our porch steps for decades, even centuries. One we have the power to eradicate yet, for our own stupid reasons, we ignore it, allow it to not only live but in some cases actually prosper. Can you guess what I am speaking of? Keep reading, you will.

Beyond this film, what have we learned from Star Trek, or in other words, what has it given us? Cell phones, tablets, talking computers, and even artificial intelligence. But it also gave us universal translators, holograms and virtual reality. And the really far out inventions like food replicators, communicator badges, medical hydrosprays, and believe to or not, a phaser. Known as a dazzler, it is a weapon which sends a beam of radiation and can stop someone in their tracks.

Seriously. So Star Trek has inspired us on a myriad of scientific ways, ways which are making our lives easier, better, safer. But it also gave us inspiration for other avenues of our lives.

What else did Star Trek give to us?

In the opening scenes of Star Trek IV, you see a catastrophe about to happen. On the bridge of a star ship stands a captain: a black woman. A person of color, a female person, in the position of command of a star ship. And back on Earth, in the control room of Starfleet is a black man as an Admiral.

Blacks, African Americans, in positions of power, of influence, of command, of importance. No racial bias, no hatred, fear, negative expectations. Simply another human being doing the job they are most suited to without any objections from anybody.

Look at the crew of Star Trek: The Original Series (T.O.S.). Spock (Leonard Nimoy), a Vulcan, or alien who happens to be of mixed race: half Vulcan, half Human; Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), a black woman; Sulu (George Takai) an Asian; Chekov (Walter Koenig), a Russian. Each from a completely different background as a character yet integral to the team, accepted completely between others regardless of their ethnicity. Equals.

Toss in Scotty (James Doohan) and Bones (DeForest Kelley) combined under the command of Kirk (William Shatner) and you have a team of such diversity that is accepted by people around the world, beloved, emulated, imitated to the extreme.

Spock was the resulting child of an interracial marriage between a Vulcan and a Human. He saw some of the ugliness that others can show to a mixed race child as described in the reboot of the Star Trek films, Star Trek. Star Trek also gave us the very first interracial kiss, one between Kirk and Uhura. This had to be shocking in the extreme in the mid 1960's, to see a black woman and a white man kissing on television. Think about those two examples for a moment, will you? More than half a century ago, we saw this take place on television; yet today, there are people who would tell others not to do this, that this is an outrage. Fifty years, and we still cannot accept this as normal, even desirable? Why not? We can have a tablet, a talking computer, but we cannot allow two people who love one another be of different races? How shallow are we?

They gave us a goal...

A goal, a direction, something we should strive to achieve as soon as possible. We do not need to wait until the 23rd century to be what they are, we need to do it now, in the 21st century. We should have done it more than 20 years ago, in the 20th century but we still hadn't lost our blindness of one another; blindness of the capabilities, of the equality each of us have. No one is superior to anyone else, everyone is equal and able to contribute to society.

Everyone is born with the same opportunity to excel in some manner if they are allowed to do so. To look down on someone, to hold back, to insult or hate someone because of the color of their skin? As Spock would say...

Illogical.

As I watched this film again, with new eyes, I saw countless opportunities for mankind to improve, to offer hope to those who need it desperately. To be what we should be without restrictions, without bias, without hate. To improve ourselves as a species to the point where we leave hunger, illness, hatred behind and share our world as we should: equally.

Is it really that difficult to remove the cancer that is racial hatred? Haven't we progressed far enough to understand that the color of someone's skin isn't who they are, what they can do? That they are no different than we are?

God, I hope so. I pray so. Join me in praying, in doing whatever we can do to eliminate this illogical bias towards someone because they are different from us.

The sooner the better.

Live long and prosper, my friends.

I ask this for the world
I ask this for the world | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Mr Archer

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      3 weeks ago from Missouri

      "When I look at the multitudes of life forms on this planet, how can I even think about race as something that separates us?"

      Marie, that sort of says it all, doesn't it? Thank you so much. Stay safe, Ma'am.

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 

      3 weeks ago from Jacksonville, FL USA

      I used to watch the original Star Trek faithfully every Friday evening. I needed the fantasy to take me out of the boring, mundane world I had perceived. Even the landing on the moon seemed like nothing compared to Star Trek.

      I think my favorite episode was when the crew needed a vacation and found themselves on a "fantasy" island. Sulu accidentally conjured up a dragon out of his ancestor's tradition. Kirk re-created an Irish nemesis that engaged both in a chase and fist-fight.

      What did I learn from Star Trek? That I needed and enjoyed fantasy. I remember "Bones" healing a silicon creature that looked like a blob, but was, according to the story, a mother protecting its progeny. Yes, I had compassion for that creature.

      When I look at the multitudes of life forms on this planet, how can I even think about race as something that separates us? There is no separation!

      In the end, everyone finds what is being sought. Every time.

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      3 weeks ago from Missouri

      Ladies, thank you for your thoughts on this. Liz,isn't it wonderful to realize that you can watch this show, have watched it for years and not see color or race? The actual realization of this should be an awakening to us that it is not only possible, it already happened! We need to take it to the real world, and not leave it in the world of TV and film. And Zoom! I love it! How cool is that! Beam me up Scotty! LOL!

      Cheyenne, I agree wholeheartedly. The world, and those who cry racist and those called racist need to take a hard look at this and then a harder look within. If it is possible to enjoy this work of fiction, how hard should it be to make it reality?

      I have never tweeted, done twitter. We are on Facebook, but it really is only for the kids and a very few of my wife's friends. No other social media; in fact, this is as close to that as I get. But I wish we could do one of those hashtag thingies, saying something like...

      #StarTrekNoRaceAllUnityNow!

      Take care my friends. Stay safe.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      3 weeks ago from UK

      Star Trek was ahead of its time in many ways. I just took the multi-racial crew for granted. But you're right, it points towards a better and fairer future.

      I have found Star Trek memories in Zoom meetings. We broke into small groups for coffee after church online last week. The vicar was dropped in and out of different groups at intervals. It was a bit like a 'Beam me up Scottie' scene.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Excellent article, Mike! Star Trek had a tremendous following back in the day and still does. I watched it myself and much prefer it to Star Wars. As you said, to have such a diversity of backgrounds and ethnicity back in the '60s was uncommon, to say the least. Yet it worked and people of all races followed the series. There were great messages in those episodes. Perhaps it would behoove the human race to watch the series again with a different set of eyes, as you have.

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      3 weeks ago from Missouri

      I didn't realize at the time, but as the years have gone by I now understand just how amazingly progressive it really was. In the beginning, there were a few "aliens" but more and more arrived until it did become just that: a true representation of how we should be, accepting of all others who desire peace and understanding, who desire to be accepted for who they are, not what they are expected to become.

      I find the Romulans and Klingons to be more what racist people are today: unaccepting, belligerent, angry and ready to fight rather than find middle ground. They were the real racists in the show. I wonder if Gene Roddenberry intended it to be that way? And Kirk, for all his fighting, actually was a peaceable person, one who was ready to find that middle ground. Kind of strange to realize he was more of a diplomat than a fighter, even with his temper and fighting mentality.

      I dedicate this article to you, Bill, and your lovely daughter and wife. Your whole family in fact. You are what we strive to become, an educated, accepting, intelligent person who leads by example, who loves all regardless. Thank you Sir William. God bless you and yours.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      It really was a remarkable tv series for the time regarding integration and racism, wasn't it. It was like the United Nations on that flight deck, something seldom seen during the 60's. Very cool article, Mike. Very cool message.

      Live long and prosper, my friend.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)