"We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man...
I do not say that we should or will go unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war, without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."
John F. Kennedy
"Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."
I was raised a Christian. But to be honest it didn't take. My spiritual instruction rather came watching a group of humans and one very singular half alien, strive episode after episode to better themselves and their fellow beings.
I watched these beings make mistakes, and make just plain wrong choices. But unlike so many people who surrounded me they did not seek to defend their mistakes as right. Rather they worked to recognize where they had erred and to make amends. Whether it was a simply apology to a subordinate for angry words spoken under the pressure of the moment, or getting the ships doctor to whip up a bandage for a rock eating being at first thought of as a monster that the captain's phaser had wounded, these people strove to be better than good enough.
I saw this example time and time again on other shows.
I saw a human man violated by a race of cyborgs, turn away from revenge and allow one who belonged to that race to gain individuality.
I saw a Bajoran woman who had every reason to despise the people of another race learn to set aside her hatred and judge others on their merits.
I watched a human woman choose to protect a race of strangers even though it meant virtual exile for her and over one hundred others from the place they had called home.
I observed a human man and a Vulcan woman learn how to trust one another despite a very rocky start to their working relationship.
Time and again I saw all manner of beings strive to grow beyond their limitations, whether biological, cultural, or merely personal.
And I saw it again reading this book.
From a man who's desire to help a race that was hostile and so very alien that he was more concerned about doing that then escaping them, to a woman who has opened up to another to share her unique history, turning what had been a burden into a treasure.
I saw such wonders. And people made mistakes, and wrong choices. But they learned, and grew. And because of this a grief that had seemed eternal has been transformed to joy.
I believe that these are not just "stories".
I believe that these are fundamental statements about who we can be if we choose it.
I believe that we have the potential live lives that are beyond amazing.
Sometimes I forget that though.
I work in a job that I hate because I have to.
I live in a country that every day seems to slip a little further into a kind of hell that I once thought was a thing of the past.
And sometimes I just try and get through the day without wanting to blow my brains out.
But then something like this comes along, and I am reminded of how much potential we have. While it is true that in some ways a story changes nothing, in so many ways it changes everything.
So thank you Kirsten for seeing so clearly into that world and sharing what you saw. Thank you for reminding me why I still believe that all hope is not lost.
Peace, and long life to you.