I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Science Fiction is the best genre in my opinion. It’s so wide open and full of creativity and fun. But it’s also full of possibilities for a better humankind. I would like to share with you, five ideals that I’ve learned from this amazing genre. This post is a bit longer than normal, so bear with me. When most people think Sci-fi, they think Star Wars and Star Trek. So I’ll use the two of these franchises to illustrate.
1. While all people are different and come from different backgrounds, we do have the capacity to accept one another’s differences.
In the original Star Trek series, if you take a look at the seven main characters, you will see people representative of what, at the time, were groups that normally didn’t get along very well. You had a Caucasian captain and a doctor, a Russian on weapons, a Japanese man at the helm, and an African-American woman on the communications device, a Scottish engineer and a Vulcan. By the way, the Vulcan was portrayed by a Jewish-American actor. All of these individuals showed us that if we embrace our differences and stop fighting over them we could actually work together.
2. Human kind has the potential to achieve world unity.
Through the Star Trek franchise, we also see that the entire planet of Earth, with assistance from the Vulcan’s, has demolished famine, war, most diseases and earthbound prejudices. You see everyone living and working together, and having access to all countries on the planet. If I wanted to visit Egypt, I could do so by stepping on a transporter pad or getting into a shuttle and going. I wouldn’t have to go through customs or worry about getting shot at or kidnapped. The entire planet would be my home. Oh what a wonderful thought, if that were to come true in reality.
3. Technology thought up in science fiction and based in reality does and will come to pass.
I can remember as a child watching the syndicated version of the original Star Trek and seeing flip top communications devices, transporters, hologram technology, ray guns and space ships. Then, Dad took us to see Star Wars and I saw more laser guns, space stations, laser swords, androids and ships with the ability to travel to other solar systems that would normally take years or decades (or forever), in the span of a few minutes or “hours”. Now, we have cell phones, hologram tech, ray guns, rail guns, space shuttles, the International Space Station, several observatories, probes and satellites in space, and scientists working on ways to travel to distant star systems in a reasonable amount of time. Science fiction gave more people license to dream and turn those dreams into reality.
4. All people on this planet have a lot more in common than we do different, but it’s the differences that we focus on more.
In Star Trek, the Vulcans and Romulans are the same people split off many millennia ago. Long story short, the Vulcans believe in logic and reason (the teachings of Surak) whereas the Romulans believe in allowing their emotions to have an integral part in their lives. Instead of accepting these differences, they are enemies. But then, the Romulans are enemies of everyone anyway.
Humans live on the same planet, breathe the same air, and eat, love, pay bills, and are made of the same elemnets, but worship differently. However, it is the differences in our beliefs that cause the wars that we’ve had. Ok, that and greed and fear. But if we were able to accept the differences, case in point, Klingons and Humans now as allies, maybe we wouldn’t have to destroy so much of ourselves.
5. Acceptance of other races and cultures opens each of us up to being greater than we are alone.
In Star Wars Chapters 4, 5 & 6, people of different star systems, races, cultures and beliefs band together and kick the crap out of the Empire and take back their freedoms. None of them are trying to force the others to conform to their way of being. That’s the Emperors job. The humans and other beings which make up the Rebellion work together to become the hammer that smashes the opposition and bring about a new era.
Imagine what our entire planet would be capable of if we had a common goal to live for? This is one of the reasons sci-fi stories include our planet being invaded by aliens from Alpha Centauri or the like. It would be the one time that, maybe, we’d actually band together. I often wonder, other than aliens dominating us, what would it take for us to truly be greater than we are as individuals. It is possible. I do believe that it could happen. But what would it take, I wonder?
If you are a fan of sci-fi, what great ideas and ideals have you learned from the various movies, shows and books that give you hope for a better world?