Life lessons from Star Trek

In the Star Trek episode Day of the Dove, the crew of the Enterprise is pitted in mortal combat against the crew of a Klingon ship by a mysterious parasitic entity that feeds on hatred.

The entity takes away their phasers and disrupters, providing them instead with swords, ensuring maximum negative energy. It resuscitates the dead so they can get right back up and continue killing, the intention being to keep them all fighting over nothing until the end of time.

Combatants on each side have been indoctrinated with all kinds of horrific propaganda about their respective adversaries and what awful, savage beings they are. They demonized each other.

Sound familiar?

The only way they were able to defeat this entity and break its spell was to recognize that it was playing them against each other for its own benefit and refuse to cooperate any longer.

When are we going to do that? Do they people you hate really epitomize the negative traits you’ve projected upon them, or have you unwittingly become the pawn of some malevolent force that profits from your hatred? Ask yourself that the next time you reduce an enemy to a mustache twirling caricature. In time, perhaps you’ll learn they may not be your enemy, after all.

6 thoughts on “Life lessons from Star Trek

  1. Well said! “Day of the Dove” is one of my favorite T.O.S. episodes. One thing I’ll say about hatred: it is exhausting to hate people, to keep hating people long term, to keep dwelling on why you hate them so much. Even if you believe your hatred is justified, you will be better off if you can let that hatred go.

  2. It clicked for me when I heard the Klingons say “you KNOW what they do to their prisoners.” And then gearing Chekov say the same thing. And then you think about everybody now calling each other Nazis, both sides, and they don’t think of each other as people, they’re just the enemy. I get along just fine with all kinds of people, myself. People are complex individuals and we’ve categorized ourselves and each other as two opposite extremes. I’m going to choose to laugh at the evil glowing cloud and be kind to everyone to the best of my ability.

  3. Also, on the most recent episode of discovery, they’re in orbit of earth 900 years in the future. “Earth defense” is battling these raiders trying to steal their dilithium, and the discovery crew gets them to negotiate and understand each other a little bit more. The lead raider takes off his scary helmet and reveals he’s human, and his people are suffering and feel persecuted by Earth’s hoarding of the coveted crystals. And they come up with an arrangement that benefits them both.

  4. I choose to be kind as well, to the best of my ability. I wish I were more consistent about it. It’s tough, though, when kindness is so often met with cruelty.

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