Yesterday while at work a co-worker who also shares a love of Star Trek asked me if I heard of Leonard Nimoy passing, at first hearing this I was taken aback, don’t get me wrong, I was aware that Mr Nimoy was in his 80’s, but it was Spock. A person who I had never met in person, but who inspired me, and shaped some of who I am today had been lost . I’m quite sure I’m not alone in that feeling of loss. But how is it a Actor, who played a part on a TV series and later movies could touch our lives so profoundly. This is where I had a reflective moment, trying to recount how it came about.
I can still remember the day that Star Trek first aired, and I heard the opening lines read by William Shatner. Space the Final Frontier, These are the voyages of the Star Ship Enterprise…. And the flyby on the screen the Starship Enterprise. I was hooked, being a 6 year old, who was hooked on Science Fiction be it on screen or in book form. Even though I am now reaching 55 years in this time on this ever smaller planet.
Sure, there was other Science Fiction shows at that time either shortly before of after. Many were made by Irwin Allen. Shows such as Lost in Space, Voyage To The Bottom of The Sea, and Time Tunnel. And while I did watch and enjoy all those shows. But there was something deeper and more personal in Star Trek, you could both see it and feel it. That you had a community in space that worked together to fine solutions, this crew was made up of many races, but also worlds. This while still hard for some people, in the 60’s was a much harder for some people to understand, let alone accept. The camera many times would star the show panning onto the Bridge of the Enterprise, showing Captain Kirk in the Center seat surrounded by his command crew. Then you saw him as they panned further around the Bridge, Mr Spock, science officer. What made this something special, at least to me was the
Throughout the three seasons of their cut short five year mission you learned about the background of many of the character. You find out that Spock is from the planet Vulcan, the Vulcan's are very intelligent, but also lay great weight in the concept of controlling their emotions, in their planet’s past, emotions/passion's almost fueled the demise of their people. And while Spock was what you think a Vulcan should be, you also learn that he is a Hybrid, as his Mother is Human. Something he seems to at first try to maintain control of, but later embracing to a greater extent. What you come to fine out about Spock, is though he seems aloof. That he is well respected by his peers, loved afar by a nurse, and a consul highly respected by the Captain.
This is how Spock influenced me. In my early years, I was a smaller kid, as I was diagnosis a borderline Asthmatic, I had to get shots twice a week until I was 18 to control reactions which could be severe. That and being a bit geeky, made me a bit of an outcast. In school and around other friends we would play like most kids, but I had to watch it due to Allergies. Bullying was a regular thing from some older kids. At this point in my short life I could have easily either lashed out at others, or withdrawn completely. But here’s the thing, Spock had taught me, they did not dislike me for who I was, it was because I was different and they could not understand that. That's when I learned that no matter who you are, I always try to judge a person by what they say and do, not be who they are! I may not like everyone, but I don’t hate them either, I’ve learned that this is their world as well. And all of us our trying to make our way though it. While I see this thought process in place in some of the better business throughout this country and others. Unfortunately do not see it so much in leadership in our country's around the world. I think I hope my wish for the future is that one day that would come about, hopefully before the 23rd century!
Till next time, I will restate the Vulcan parting!