Thursday, August 24, 2006

All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Watching Star Trek

Blog #26 by Dave Marinaccio,
author of All I Really Need to Know
I Learned from Watching Star Trek

I work in one of the noblest enterprises ever conceived by man, advertising. My work environment is a stress-filled one. About the only thing taken for granted is that today’s problems will be completely different from yesterday’s. At its best, it can be said that the job offers variety. Unfortunately, it’s the same old variety day after day.

In situations of change, it is natural for human beings to look for touchstones. As a human being, I had always sought a center to my life, an example to follow. What I hadn’t realized was that I was already following a path into the future. It was pointed out to me at a business meeting.

I was comparing a current problem to something I had watched on television the previous night. I can’t recall the particular problem, but I do recall saying, “Well, we could be diplomatic, but as Scotty said on Star Trek last night, ‘The best diplomat I know is a fully charged phaser bank.’”

“You turn everything into Star Trek,” a coworker responded.

She was right. For years I’ve related everything in life to Star Trek. But why not? Captain James Tiberius Kirk is the most successful person I’ve ever observed. He’s a great leader, a good manager of people, dedicated, moral, adaptable, at the top of his profession, gets the girls, is well known and respected. There are worse role models.

Most importantly, I was practically a Phi Beta Kappa in Star Trek. As a kid it was my favorite TV show. As an adult, virtually every night after work I would walk in the door, collapse on the couch and hit the remote control. Like most men, the remote control is part of my arm. Unlike most men, I can actually watch an entire program. Just so long as the program is Star Trek.

Anyway, that comment at work helped me discover something I already knew. I realized then that I already know what’s necessary to live a meaningful life—that it isn’t all that complicated.

ALL I REALLY NEEDED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned watching Star Trek. These are the things I learned:

  • Each person or each species, no matter how alien, has the right to live their lives as they wish. (As long as they’re not trying to take over the galaxy or eat you or something.)
  • Everyone has a role in life. Sulu is the navigator. Uhura is the communications specialist. Do your own job and the ship will function more smoothly.
  • Whatever you are doing, answer a distress call. The most important time to help someone is when they need it.
  • If you mess something up, it’s your responsibility to make things right again. (Say you disrupt history and cause the Nazis to win World War II. To correct matters, you have to let Joan Collins walk in front of a car even though you’re in love with her.)
  • The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.
  • If you can keep your head in a crisis you’ve got a fighting chance.
  • The unknown is not to be feared. It is to be examined, understood and accepted.
  • Close friends become family and family is the true center of the universe.
  • End every episode with a smile.
  • And lastly, with time and patience you can even learn something from The Next Generation.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. It may be dressed in some real lame costume. But it’s there. Every situation you will face in life has already been faced by the crew of the Starship Enterprise NCC 1701. How to respond to challenge. How to treat your friends. How to pick up girls. How to get ahead on the job. How to run a business. How to bandage a wounded silicon-based life-form. Everything you need to know.


  • ALL I REALLY NEEDED TO KNOW.....just love it - it made my day:) thankyou

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:20 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home