I was channel surfing the other day and came across a program on the Smithsonian Channel about the 5oth anniversary of the original Star Trek TV series. Yes, it’s true dear Trekkies! Capt. Kirk, Spock, Scotty and the rest of the crew of the Enterprise have been around and affecting our culture for the last 50 years! Hard to imagine that a show that was cancelled after just 3 seasons by the network went on to become the cultural icon that it has. The program from the other night focused on the plans for the Smithsonian and other museums to reclaim and refurbish the props, set and costumes from the show that had been discarded or snapped up by collectors and feature them in exhibits. For the Smithsonian, the Enterprise herself was to rest in her new home in the Air and Space Museum beside the lunar module and the space shuttle!
I was particularly interested in those items that, 50 year ago, were only ideas in the imagination of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Everything from the actual bridge of the ship, to the technology of the future – by 1960’s standards – of items like the tricorder used by Dr. McCoy, the communicators, the phaser and tractor beams. What was only make-believe pieces of plastic, wood, glue and some paint went on to become the inspiration for the items we now use every day: cell phones, computer generated medical equipment, laser weapons and, believe it or not, even what scientists are calling the first successful test of a tractor beam which only moved a tiny molecule a few inches, but who knows what we can accomplish if we try? However, the show did make a point of saying that “Beam Me Up, Scotty,” is a long way off, if ever. Ugh! I think I draw the line at having my chromosomes diluted and reconstituted!
If we look at all that has been created in our own lifetimes, the question we have to ask ourselves is: “If we can take what was essentially a story on paper created out of an idea in one man’s mind, and create an actual whole new world of technology, what is stopping us from creating the life of our dreams?” The answer: absolutely nothing. There is nothing stopping us from taking an idea, putting it down on paper, doing some editing, taking some pieces out and putting better pieces in, and coming up with something that, like Star Trek, will last a lifetime – our own authentic lives. Watching the show the other night I was amazed at the creativity of the folks who were given the task of taking every day items like cardboard and Christmas lights and turning them into the actual world of the 25th century. They not only thought outside the box, they created a whole new box, and we all got to play in it. What kind of a box do you want to play in? While you’re at it, why not just toss away the box and create something entirely new and exciting?
So, what are you waiting for … the 25th century? Get busy and start creating. I send you forth to discover new worlds, and in the words of dear Dr. Spock: “Live long and prosper!”
Blessings and peace!
P.S. Don’t forget to go on over to the home page for this week’s writing assignment.