Happy 50th anniversary Star Trek.
Spock has been one of the primary influences on my life and I need to give a shoutout. (Yes, I am currently watching the original Trek marathon.) Here are some of characters that laid the foundation for how I choose to live my life.
Nyota Uhura taught me that Black women) would exist in the future, and they’d be smart, beautiful, graceful, talented, sexy…much as I hoped to be when I grew up. (I’m ’bout halfway there.)
Spock taught me IDIC: Infinite Diversity In Infinite Combinations. One of the essential Vulcan code of ethics. Just because something is different, isn’t reason enough to be afraid of it. Although, once something has proven to be malignant, don’t hesitate to kick its ass.
Fearlessness: Spock was often recklessly fearless .When something needed to be done, fear wasn’t part of the equation. Spock taught me that when you’re right, you will know for an absolute certainty that you’re right, and you jump in with both feet, and no regrets. That once you start letting fear make your decisions for you, it’ll make ALL of your decisions for you. (This also seemed to be Kirk’s philosophy.) I decided to adopt this attitude and some of my finest experiences happened because I ignored fear. (I’m not demeaning caution. Caution is not the same as fear.)
Being Rational: I valued logic and rational thought, above all else, even as a child. Most of the people around me didn’t practice this. Just like Spock, in every episode of Star Trek, ever, it was on me to be the one person in every situation to keep a level head. I have, on occasion, even saved a life or two. When everyone else is running around, screaming like chickens on fire, there has to be at least one person who is holdin’ shit down.
Being Grown: Spock (and Uhura) taught me how to act like a “Grown-ass Woman” Never listen to hearsay about other people. If you got a beef, you approach the person directly, and tactfully discuss it.
Own up to the shit you do. If you felt something was worth doing, and you did it, then its also worth taking the credit, or the blame, for it. On the opposite end, don’t take credit for other people’s shit, although sometimes, its okay to take someone else’s blame, to save a life.
Never raise your voice when you don’t have to. That way, when you finally do, people will actually listen to you vs. that person who is always yelling.
Keep your sarcasm low-key and it will usually fly right over most people’s heads. Really! Most people won’t be sure they’ve been insulted. This is hilarious, trust me.
Diplomacy, and thoughtfulness, are good things.
Never let other people insult you into being your worst self. That’s letting other people decide the kind of human you want to be and no one gets to make that decision but you. Kirk and McCoy often discussed Spock’s human vs. his Vulcan heritage, and no matter how much they constantly teased, or badgered, him about it, it was Spock who always made the final decision on how human he would behave.
Tact: At twelve years old, I had none. This lesson took a very, very long time to learn. Decades! I got in a lot of trouble, when I was younger, for telling unadulterated truths. You gotta adulterate it. People do not like the straight shit. (This also falls under Diplomacy and when to properly deploy “snark”.)
Spock taught me it was okay to have maximum chill. It was okay to not have it during momentous occasions like, finding out your friends are actually alive, flowers that chime when you touch them, and birthday cake, but one should quickly work to re-establish chill directly after such an upheaval.
James Kirk taught me that I wanted a communicator. I really needed a communicator. Nobody looked cooler flipping that phone than Kirk. Everyone else flipped theirs in a business-like manner, but Kirk flipped his communicator with the style and grace befitting an Olympic event.
Spock taught me that I would probably be single for the rest of my life, as there’s no man that measures up to him. (Ironically, not even the man who portrayed him.)
Spock introduced me to the love of science. I still hated math, but I developed a healthy appreciation for physics. Sometimes I read physics books for fun. I merely tolerate math as the third wheel on that date. (Gob, I am such a nerd!)
Star Trek taught me that I was a total geekgirl, that it was okay, and that I should embrace it and just let my geek flag fly. (It was Mork & Mindy that taught me how to love being weird, tho’.)
Spock taught me how to be a commie, pinko, liberal progressive, although at ten years old, I was already well on my way to being one. Spock taught me there’s nothing wrong with being considerate of other life forms. It’s okay to care about other people’s well being, (no matter what Republicans say.)
I learned ethics, boundaries, and a whole host of other lessons. Some of the things I learned were reinforced by my family, or by later media I consumed, and the books I read, but Star Trek laid the foundation it was all built on.
Happy Anniversary Star Trek! This world would be a radically different, and far lesser place, without Gene Roddenberry’s vision. I would argue that he was quite possibly, one of the most influential men of the twentieth century, (and looking to be, well into the twenty first.)
This was inspired by the Star Trek posts over on Nerds of Color. Stop in and give the N.O.C a holla!