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7 Life Lessons You Can Learn From 'Star Trek' Let me start out by coming clean: I am a closet Trekkie. I went to my first "Star Trek" convention when I was nine. I have owned dozens of "Star Trek" toys, models, props and books over the years (and yes, I used to make my Kirk and Uhura action figures kiss). I even have a communicator app on my iPhone (and I'm eagerly waiting for the tricorder app now that Siri has arrived). I don't own a uniform, but I wish I did (Hint hint: Channukah's coming, family. I'll take the classic Captain's shirt in M, please, so that it rips easier when I get into fights). My love of "Star Trek" began at an early age and has lasted to this day. But why? It isn't just because of the campy sets and costumes that are still iconic. It isn't because of the terrific performance by Leonard Nimoy (Spock) or Captain Kirk's Shatnerific overacting. It isn't even because of the superb sci-fi storytelling and writing or the fact that the toys and accoutrements were (and are) so cool that the culture seems to be obsessed with making them real, although, all of that is true. No, my love of "Trek" has lasted this long because of what I have learned from my friends on the Enterprise over the years. From the joys of exploration to the simple pleasures of curling up in your own quarters (often with a hot yeoman and a cold drink), from the value of friendship to the value of calling someone's bluff, I've learned dozens of life skills, lessons and even values from the iconic show that ran only three years in prime time when it originally debuted (before I was born). I would say there are seven life lessons I learned from "Star Trek" that I take with me to this day. These are lessons I hope to pass along to my own children someday--but for now, I will share them with the interweb. The best way to travel is to boldly go where no one has gone before. This is true for vacations, for self- exploration, for life itself. If you want your days filled with adventure, laughter, love, learning and the occasional mind-meld, follow this route. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few--or the one. Sometimes you must make great sacrifices for the greater good. And, like the Genesis device, it will all come back around. Expressing your emotions is a healthy thing. Sure, McCoy seemed angry all the time when exclaiming, "Dammit, Jim! I'm a doctor not a mechanic/bricklayer/soothsayer," but he knew that by expressing his anger and frustration it wouldn't get the best of him and he could then perform at his peak capacity. When estimating how long a job will take, overestimate--and when you do better your captain will always be impressed. Replace the word "captain" with "teacher" or "mom/dad" and you'll see what I mean. Sure, Mr. Scott might have been telling the truth--maybe it would take six hours to get the warp engines back online in the heat of the battle. Or maybe he was padding things so he looked good. Either way, when the engines did come back on line, everyone was happy. Wearing red makes you a target. This is true of cars, dresses and, most especially, shirts. Red gets you noticed--which is good if you want to be noticed, bad if you don't want to end up vaporized. When you don't know what to say, pause. It will give you the time to figure it out. Or at the very least, you'll sound like you're being thoughtful. "But....Spock.....why?" The most powerful force in the universe is friendship. It's more powerful than phasers, photon torpedos, even more powerful than the force itself. With friends, you can accomplish any task, escape any perilous situation, defeat any enemy--and you get to laugh together when it's all over. I am convinced that these lessons will serve us all, adults and children, well as we seek out new life, new civilizations, and new experiences. In short, thanks to "Star Trek," we may all live long and prosper. By David Borgenicht Article from The Huffington Post: Posted: 11/29/11 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-borgenicht/star-trek_b_1116920.html?ref=books&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009 Discussion Questions With your partner, discuss the following questions. Feel free to ask any follow-on questions you like. If you have any good advice related to any of these questions, then, please share your wisdom and experience with your classmates. Maybe you can learn from each other and avoid some of the same mistakes. 1. Are you adventurous? Explain. 2. Have you had to make a lot of sacrifices in your life? Why? Who for? Are you happy to make them or do you resent it? 3. Do you express yourself freely or do you bottle up and hide your emotions? Do you find it easy to speak your mind and tell people what you really think? Is it always a good idea to say what you think? Give examples to explain your answers. 4. Are you good at meeting deadlines? Do you work well under pressure? Explain your answer. Do you have any tips on how to cope under pressure? 5. Are you prone to exaggeration? Do you have a tendency to pad the truth? 6. Do you like to stand out from the crowd? Do you like to be noticed or do you prefer to blend in? Would you like to be more self confident? Is standing out from the crowd a good or a bad thing? Give examples. 7. Do you think you are intelligent? Explain. Do you often speak without thinking? Do you ever say really stupid things? Do you often embarrass yourself by saying something silly? Give examples. 8. How important is friendship to you? How long would you last without your friends? How easy is it for you to maintain your friendships? Do you make friends easily? Do you keep in touch with all your old friends? 9. What is your favorite TV show and why? What have you learned through watching it? 10. Do you have any life advice or words of wisdom to share with your classmates? What valuable lessons have you learned from your life experiences? What was the best piece of advice you were ever given?
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