My perspective on the future

I am old enough to remember watching some of the original Star Trek episodes when they first aired, and I have been a fan ever since. Spock helped some of us to become curious about logic. Kirk made us want to be brave and resourceful and decisive. Picard taught us the virtues of diplomacy and being aware of history (and he helped to undo at least some of the damage done by Kirk to respectful male-female relationships.) Worf showed us that honor and tolerance need not be mutually exclusive. Troi showed us the value of reaching beyond technical skill to include emotional awareness and intelligence.
 
With all that in mind, I would like to be counted among those who are working to build a multi-cultural future noted by peaceful coexistence, dedicated to mutual respect and success, based upon recognition of equal rights and responsibilities. I realize that pure socialism, pure capitalism, and pure democracy have proven inadequate to deal effectively and sustainably with the complex and selfish and illogical aspects of human nature, so there is a need to continually fine-tune our economic, legal, and political systems so that we might benefit from the sometimes painful lessons that we learn along the way. We need to keep striving to find better ways to provide safety and security and health and opportunity for as many of us as possible, without it being at the expense of others. We need to understand that each of us has a different contribution to make, and find ways to encourage and help each of us to do the best that we can, while insuring certain basic standards (equal protection under law, equal access to education and health care) for all. That includes allowing for rewards that are proportional to the value of the contribution that has been made, and finding ways to be inspired by that rather than made jealous.
 
I also recognize that there are many who do not share that vision. Some might be too fearful to believe that it can be possible. Others seem too convinced that their way of life is the only right way and that all others are inferior. Still others might just lack the fantasy (and the familiarity with Roddenberry’s vision) to envision such a potential future.
 
It is an entirely human characteristic to suspect the trustworthiness of those who come from a different culture or background or tribe, but it is equally inherently human to be empathetic and curious. Those of us who have grown up in secure, emotionally nourishing environments and who have subsequently had the opportunity to have positive experiences with cultures and environments that are alien to us are making our own Star Trek-like stories on an entirely earthly, 21st-century scale. I think the world will be a better place if we can bring those basic opportunities to as many humans as possible.
 
Make no mistake, there are Romulan and Cardassian equivalents out there who seek to divide and control and profit from the resulting wave of chaos. They represent danger, to be sure, but not nearly the danger that can result from us using superior technology in an attempt to assimilate all into a single, homogenous whole. We can stand together and live together and be together without giving up our individuality. We should aspire to be the Federation, not the Borg.
 
Live long and prosper!
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