Today’s sponsor is my dear friend from high school, Sara Shea. She asked me to write about why I love Star Trek and how it continues to be relevant in my life.
I started watching Star Trek with The Next Generation when I was 13. I saw my first episode on a Saturday night while I was waiting for Mom to finish making dinner. It only took that one episode for me to be hooked. Watching the show became a fixture in my schedule through adulthood. I also sought out other Trekkies.
I was often a withdrawn, angry, and lonely child. My experiences with people taught me that most people could not be trusted and that it was every man for himself. I had seen the dark side of humanity and I believed that that was how everyone was. I had learned that trusting people led to being hurt and so it was better to be alone and trust no one.
I fell in love with Star Trek because of the interpersonal relationships between the characters. Each person was vastly different and yet all of them were accepted with their talents and their faults. I admired the level of devotion between them – they never abandoned a friend in need. They also had integrity. My experiences had taught me that people will be deceitful and hurtful if it benefitted themselves. On Star Trek, I saw characters who did what was right – even to their own detriment, and they protected those who could not protect themselves.
Watching Star Trek gave me hope. It gave me a different perspective for seeing the world, to have hope that people could behave better than what I had previously seen and experienced. It taught me that the battered and weak could become strong and empowered. Star Trek gave me examples to emulate, of people who can support the unpopular but right argument. It’s a hard thing to do, and often a lonely position to be in. Star Trek was one of the things that taught me that I have a responsibility to be that person.
There have been many times in my life when I felt like a freak – for being a geek, bisexual, and at times outspoken and aggressive. Star Trek showed me that being different didn’t make me a freak; I just bring something different to the table.
I love going to Star Trek conventions. I love the overwhelming feeling of acceptance that I feel the second I walk into the convention hall. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet forward-thinking smart people. For many of us, Star Trek is not just a show. At the risk of sounding cultish, it’s a way of life; it’s a special perspective on the world.
And in case you were wondering, yes, I’ve made the pilgrimage to Riverside, Iowa – the future birthplace of Captain Kirk.
The signature of all of my emails is a quote from Star Trek: First Contact: “Don’t try to be a great man. Just be a man, and let history make its own judgment.” I love this quote. It is constant reminder that my job is to work hard and have integrity. It’s not my job to decide what my impact on others will be. I give the attribution to the character, Zefram Cochrane. It’s not a blaring announcement that I’m a Trekkie, but it lets my fellow Trekkies know that I’m one of them.
Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsor is Sara Shea. For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.