Ten life lessons from ‘Star Trek’


The original ‘Star Trek’ broke popular cultural ground in 1966, airing for three seasons on NBC. It was the creation of screen writer Gene Roddenberry. Diversity and equality permeated races, gender and species for the first time in television history. On ‘Star Trek,’ anything fantastical could happen and thank goodness, it did.

Green seductresses danced. Misshapen heads floated in space. Bald-headed prodigies ruled planets. A convincing argument could be made that the first Neopets were Dribbles, the small fuzzy alien pets on ‘Star Trek.’ There were other species curiosities, too many to name in a single article. Yet, the best aspect was the crew of the Starship USS Enterprise.

James Tiberius Kirk (William Shatner) in his captain chair with narrowed eyes, shouted out commands to his ship’s company. His dirty-blonde hair gelled into perfection. His theatrical make-up glistened under the bright studio lights. Little beads of sweat on his forehead could be seen. Captain James T. Kirk was beautiful.

Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) was more than fascinating. His half-Vulcan pointy ears were reminiscent of elves from J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel, ‘Lord of The Rings.’ Spock didn’t need to speak. His facial expressions said it all. Nothing compared to The Vulcan Mind Meld and Death Grip. If only these futuristic martial arts techniques worked in real life.

Doctor Leonard H. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) was ‘the’ doctor. Bones (his nickname) was angry, intense and usually came up short in battles of wits with Mr. Spock. This only made him angrier and more intense. Practicing medicine was hard work and the world better not forget he was a doctor, not a mechanic.

The uniqueness of the ‘Star Trek’ leading characters was not limited to the officers in command. The supporting cast members had substance as well. The only undesirable character was the new person at the beginning of an episode. Unfortunately, his or her appearance was brief and final.

Since the emergence of the original ‘Star Trek,’ movies and spinoffs have helped to ensure its place in television history as a cult classic. ‘Star Trek’ will not be forgotten any time soon. Neither will the life lessons which ‘Star Trek’ bequeathed generations of fans.

Ten Life Lessons from ‘Star Trek’

  1. Love comes in all colors, shapes, sizes and species.
  2. Highly intelligent people are not always the ones in charged.
  3. Have a backup plan or two, save the most dazzling plan for last.
  4. It’s okay to defy orders by incompetent leaders.
  5. Question authority.
  6. The good of the many outweighs the good of the few or one.
  7. Under no circumstance tell all you know.
  8. Intelligence is more powerful than strength.
  9. Protect those who rely on you, even at the expense of yourself.
  10. True friends are loyal to the end.

Live long and prosper.

C. C. J. Vann
C. C. J. Vann is a geek cultural freelance journalist based in Atlanta, Georgia. Her blog is at ccjvann.com.