Shaun Baer

actor - singer - writer

First Contact Day

Captain's Blog - Stardate 60405.2

In the Star Trek canon, April 5, 2063 is the day that humanity makes first contact with the Vulcans. 2016 is the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise. It is also the 29th anniversary of my relationship with Star Trek. So, in honor of "First Contact Day" I want to list the top five things I've learned from Star Trek over the years.

1. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations (IDIC) - A Vulcan philosophy. Basically, the acknowledgement that we are all different and our differences are to be celebrated. Not ignored, not looked past, but embraced as what makes each of us special.

2. "Every time you feel love, it'll be different." - Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg). Originally a piece of relationship advice to a teenage Will Wheaton, this thought applies to all relationships, including friends, pets, and even passions for personal interests.

3. On drugs: "They don't feel artificial until the drugs wear off. Soon, you're taking them...not to feel good, but to keep from feeling bad." - Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby). 

4. Taking risks can be terrifying, but it is the only way to experience the full richness life has to offer. Without risk, there's no possibility of reward.

5. "I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey, and reminds us to cherish every moment... because they'll never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we lived." - Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart)

There are definitely more than just five, but these are probably the top ones. In many ways, Star Trek has been almost a religion for me. A collection of stories and morality tales that in many ways shaped my thought process and belief system. It gave me hope during the darkest times of my childhood when I was struggling to find my place and purpose. It gave me heroes to aspire to, both as actors and characters. I am grateful to the casts, crews, and creators of all Star Trek iterations for fifty years of imagination and inspiration.

Live Long and Prosper, Star Trek.

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