50 Things “Star Trek” Taught Me

In Las Vegas, you used to be able to enjoy Star Trek: The Experience (1997-2008) at the Las Vegas Hilton.

For Trek fans, it was a great experience. As you waited in line to experience the “ride”, you would pass through the “History of the Future Museum”, then you’d get “beamed up” to the Enterprise (in probably the coolest live-action special effect ever in Vegas), where you’d help beat the Borg, before you headed off to the Deep Space Nine Promenade to enjoy a meal at Quark’s, and pick up some Romulan Ale and tribbles for your friends at home. The staff were dressed in full makeup as Klingons, Ferengi, and other familiar Trek characters, making the illusion more complete. While it has been reported that ST:TE may return in some form to Vegas, it hasn’t quite happened yet.

But that’s okay. We have fifty years of Star Trek to celebrate – from the Original Series (“TOS”) to the current generation of films. Star Trek debuted on September 8, 1966, and has made an impact on our culture ever since. If you doubt that a fictional science fiction program can have that kind of impact, are you reading this on a smartphone or iPad/tablet? Used a language translator, wireless headsets, portable computer memory, GPS, voice-activated computers, medical diagnostic beds and devices? Heard of replicators (3-D printers)? Even hypersprays and phasers are no longer simply science-fiction.

So to celebrate 50 years of Star Trek, I’m taking a little side trip from writing about travel to write about …. 50 things that Star Trek has taught me over the years.

 

50 Things Star Trek Taught Me

(*In No Particular Order)

1. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what your background was, you can become something amazing.
2. We’re all working together for the same common goals.
3. Women belong in the Captain’s chair, and on the command deck.
4. A sense of humor goes a long way in helping making interpersonal relations better.
5. Overestimate how long a job will take you – and then when you perform ahead of schedule, you’ll look like a miracle worker.

6. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations = diversity is a great thing for all of us.
7. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few—or the one.
8. Don’t judge people by how they look.
9. There’s always different points of view to every story.
10. Embrace who you are; it’s what makes you special – and can make you celebrated.

11. Perfection isn’t all that great.
12. Good friends are invaluable; and friendship is a powerful thing.
13. Everything can be fascinating.
14. Bigotry is stupid. Really, really, really stupid.
15. The cooler-looking the alien, the more other people love them, even if they’re grumpy. (Hi there, Klingons.)

16. Being bold (or boldly going) while being smart and logical is generally a better idea than rashly going or abrupt decisions.
17. Don’t adopt animals or introduce them into your ecosystem if you don’t know what their downsides are. Especially cute little fluffy things like tribbles.
18. There are plenty of letters in the alphabet.
19. Violence isn’t the answer – there’s always alternatives.
20. Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever is left, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.

21. Human ingenuity can will out over cold logic – or Borg brainwashing.
22. If you dream it, there’s somebody out there who can actually invent it. Sometimes, that might be yourself.
23. Men and women are equal – and there’s plenty of times when women are actually smarter than men.
24. It’s possible to be honorable, just, virtuous, and honest, and get ahead in life without climbing over other people.
25. Despite how good dreams or holodecks may be, it’s always safer to fall in love with reality.

26. Never wear a red shirt if you’re going to do something dangerous.
27. Clear communication can be tough – and it’s easy to be misunderstood.
28. With great power comes great responsibility. (Spiderman doesn’t have a lock on this ideal.)
29. It’s ok to give people the final goal, and let them find their own means to reach it.
30. Have courage and faith in your own abilities.

31. Go explore someplace new every single day.
32. If you get lost, use it as a reason to learn something new.
33. Working together can help solve seemingly insurmountable odds.
34. Even when you have the technology that can do everything for you, it’s still a good thing to be employed and productive.
35. Even if money isn’t important, it’s still important to have a purpose in life.

36. If your Security Chief is warning against something, it’s probably a bad idea.
37. Just because something is against your own moral or religious compass doesn’t mean that other people should be denied that right or ability.
38. Take responsibility for your actions instead of blaming others.
39. Doing your job without complaining about it makes things better for everyone.
40. Resistance is futile. (Or is it?)

41. Leadership comes in many different forms and styles.
42. Live long, and prosper.
43. Creative pursuits, family, pets, and hobbies are an important balance to a busy and stressful work life.
44. When striving to be a better human, aim for the best qualities about humanity.
45. Home living spaces in the future are extremely tidy and Zen.

46. It’s important to weigh other opinions and facts, but sometimes, going with your gut is the right way to go.
47. Today is a good day to die. But it’s always better to live to fight another day.
48. Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end.
49. Sometimes it’s the youngest person on the ship who saves the whole world.
50. Boldly go where you’ve never gone before.

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”

– Mahatma Gandhi 

30 great reads that will inspire you to travel!

books

This past month on my Twitter feed, I’ve been naming various travel books I have enjoyed reading. I’ve compiled them below, along with a few other titles I haven’t tweeted about.

ANTARCTICA

ASIA

  • William Dalrymple –In XanaduDalrmyple and his travel companions trace Marco Polo’s route overland from Jerusalem to Xanadu
  • Pico Iyer – Video Night in Kathmandu – Examining American culture’s impact on mid-1980’s Asia – the book that put one the best modern travel writers on the map.
  • Matthew Polly – American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China – Young kung-fu obsessed American journeys to the legendary Shaolin Temple to study martial arts
  • Mark Salzman – Iron & Silk – Young American martial artist explores life as an English teacher in post-Cultural Revolution China, and is mentored by China’s foremost martial arts master.
  • Paul Theroux – Riding the Iron Rooster – Theroux, one of the greatest travel writers of our time, spends a year exploring China via its extensive train network in the 1980s.

AUSTRALIA

  • Bill Bryson – In a Sunburned Country – In his funniest book to date, Bill Bryson explores the extremes and the fun about living in Australia.

EUROPE

NORTH AMERICA

SOUTH AMERICA

WORLDWIDE / MULTIPLE REGIONS

FICTION

  • Sir Terry Pratchett – The Color of Money – The Discworld is about to discover its first tourist, Twoflower, who hires the inept wizard, Rincewind, to be his guide around the city of Anhk-Morpork. The first book in his iconic Discworld series.