I’ve never cared much for authority figures significantly less for celebrities. But to me Leonard Nimoy fell into neither of those categories. It’s quite possible he was the first person I thought I was in love with (hey I was nine cut me some slack here); however in many was he was the first person (character) that made the world seem ok, that made me feel it was alright to dream, try, hope.
Star Trek was my first experience with non-disney film. And aside from feeling horribly betrayed by the Wrath of Khan and a fear of bugs in my ears that took years to wear off I loved every minute of it and watched it over and over again.
My parents tried to have kids for a long time before they finally adopted me. They were so excited and enthusiastic, they did all those things that excited new parents with a first baby do to give them advantages. In their excitement my parents did many things but one thing stuck like glue and never wore thin much less off. My mom started teaching me to read before I could talk. She showed me the book she used when I was older “Teach Your Baby to Read” created by a neurologist who wanted to help babies with brain deformities. She used giant notecards with huge red letters on them when I was six months. Since we lived in Bolivia I was home schooled and allowed to read anything I could find. I remember the last book I hadnt touched yet was a book on bee keeping. I read everything. It was probably a mistake to teach me this at least if you wanted to have the type of daughter they did, who always did what she was told, never talked back. I was “the perfect child” growing up you never had to worry about where I was or if I was in trouble. I entertained myself quietly in corners.
The trouble didn’t surface until much later when I started to voice the opinions I’d assimilated from all those books. I remember the first time I felt insulted. I remember it was when we moved back to the states and a new book surfaced in the house “The Strong Willed Child”. They hadn’t meant for me to see that one and somehow I knew and read it when they weren’t looking. I remember I felt betrayed. My thoughts were but you taught me to be like this.
Leonard Nimoy was my voice of reason; Captain Kirk the embodiment of all the adults in my life with his brash, self-contradictory nature. But you could always rely on Spock to be the voice of reason, a calm collected, logical man who always won out in his appeals to Kirk’s better nature.
These are the voyages… And these are the lessons I learned from Star Trek.
I learned that it was ok to want to know more, to learn things. That even if things seemed hopeless, dark, when everyone around you didn’t make sense or contradicted themselves that you could wait it out for cooler heads to prevail. That people could be reasoned with if you waited for them to take what you said to heart in those moments of cooler heads. That the universe wasn’t big, empty, and scary the universe was big and full of all sorts of interesting, wonderful things just waiting right around the corner. That you didn’t need to feel alone just because you usually were, you could hope that somewhere out there in the universe there was someone like you who felt the same way. I learned how to hope, dream, and wait.
Now that I’m older I’ve watched every iteration of Star Trek several times liked and hated many characters. But Spock was always something more and he always will be.
My shock today was awful and I feel that even if he wasn’t real and we never met I owe a lot to that character, and to Nimoy who never seemed to me even out of character as anyone but Spock. I will miss you Leonard Nimoy and I am sad to see you go. But somewhere out there someone feels just like me and even though I never met you and weren’t really Spock I am so happy you existed and I won’t forget and will continue to remember and learn from all those things your show taught me.
People deserve respect, primitive ones, advanced ones, rich ones, poor ones, not because of anything they’ve done but because they exist. That truth is in the eye of those who judge it so its always best to stand back and look before you do. That somethings are relative and somethings are not but its how you deal with them that matters. That humans can be more than what they are if they are willing to hope that the future can be better and never give that up.