I’m sad, and more than a little personally gutted as something of a Trekker, to concede that the utopia dreamt up by Gene Roddenberry in the Star Trek universe will never come to be. This is not because Einstein killed the Warp Drive, or because we’ll all end up as scrambled molecules after ill-advised mass Transporter experiments.
It’s simply because the easiest of all the advancements depicted in Star Trek is beyond our grasp. That of course being ‘human evolution’. I’m not referring to the disappointment of not growing an extra pair of eyes in the back of our heads, or developing telepathic abilities, nor even sporting cybernetic implants and robotic limbs.
I mean sociological, conscientious and cultural evolution.
Gene Roddenberry said:
‘Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms. […] If we cannot learn to actually enjoy those small differences, to take a positive delight in those small differences between our own kind, here on this planet, then we do not deserve to go out into space and meet the diversity that is almost certainly out there.’
If anything, sadly we appear to be regressing. The intolerance in the world today is already well documented here and through very many other more august and authoritative places, as is the incredible dumbing-down of humanity through an engineered epidemic of stupidity, and the misplaced self-belief in one’s own inconsequential intelligence to know-it-all without actually having read, researched, analysed or even considered anything whatsoever.
Where it gets worst is some people even record their own stupidity and put it online as a badge of honour, so that others can find solace and substantiation in their own blatantly ignorant short-sightedness. This viral validation of idiocy actually serves as a rolling snowball of stupidity that gathers mass and momentum the deeper down it plunges.
And along with the erosion of common sense, is the lament of the desperately diminishing standards of courtesy, consideration and etiquettes. We are raising a generation of entitled ‘me-firsts’. Thus entitled because they assume an automatic legitimate right to have anything they want, before anyone else, without any consideration of consequences.
What I mean to say is that standing in line is not for them. But the first to have the latest pointless and wasteful consumer must-haves, absolutely is for them – whether they can afford it or not. Everybody wants, but nobody wants to work for it. It’s all about shortcuts and that inevitably leads to corruption.
I come from a mindset that thinks a hundred times before indulging in any new purchase, even if it’s not necessarily deemed a luxury. And if I do succumb, I still maintain and harbour a nagging doubt in the back of my head about whether I actually deserve or am entitled to said object, service, achievement or even plaudit. Even after spending my own truly hard-earned on it.
But fine. Explore your capitalistic tendencies, indulge your consumer greed, but at least be considerate to others. Can we give a little respect and room to our fellow human on this crowded little ball?
From the simple act of driving courteously on the road, to clearing up after yourself in a foodcourt, being civil and polite to service staff, or maybe even going out of your way to do something nice for others without any ulterior agenda or implied favour-currying.
It’s all very sad, because normally I endeavour to seek out the best in people, to turn a blind eye to any hint of undesirable deportment and practice the philosophy of generating positivity through positivity.
But today’s unfortunately been all about negativity, as I’ve had one of those days where I’ve felt like the only sane person in the asylum. You know, when the whole world seems to be largely populated by utterly moronic imbeciles.
The kind of day where it becomes a stressful marathon to even get to the end of it without frayed nerves, brooding grumpiness, or even staging an outright explosive episode of anger and violence (all of which of course would make me no better than all the other inmates).
People certainly won’t change overnight, or even at all. Probably. Tragically. But we can change ourselves individually, and maybe a collective effort on that front would create a counter snowball effect – which we can then crash into the other one, at which point humanity will implode, and when the dust settles on the space-time continuum, we will all either emerge as the Federation or the Klingon Empire.
As for my demeanour, I hope that normal service will be resumed tomorrow.
Live long and prosper.