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Life Lessons from James T. Kirk

“There will always be those who mean to do us harm. To stop them, we risk awakening the same evil within ourselves. Our first instinct is to seek revenge when those we love are taken from us. But that’s not who we are.” Captain James T. Kirk  

I don’t often go to see movies in the theater anymore. I have a fundamental problem paying ten times more for the same product than I need to. However, there are times in which you really need to see a movie on the big screen. Dumb and Dumber not so much. Star Trek: Into Darkness. Definitely IMAX 3D worthy.

As most of you know I (Traci) am a book reviewer. What this means is that I am super picky when it comes to fiction. It has to be really really good for me to enjoy it. I am acutely aware of things like plot, pacing, dialogue, characterization, setting, and other things that most people don’t notice. Those things can make a book or a movie really, really good.

But in order for fiction to be outstanding, it has to play to deeper themes. I have to walk away from the experience having examined the meaning of something bigger than the storyline.

The latest Star Trek movie got me doing just that. I don’t want to be that chick who gives away the plot so I’ll be generic.

This movie spoke to, as the quote above notes, awakening something visceral and deep within. We each have a dark side and a light side within us. In order to fight darkness, we really do risk awakening the same things in ourselves. Which side do we want to awaken? Which side do we need to leave dormant?

The movie also speaks to the distinction between left brain, logical thinking (Spock), and right brain innovative thinking (Kirk). There is also a character in the movie who has the best of both, can battle Spock and Kirk with each of their strong points. What will you do if your challenge, your nemesis, your own “darkness” is as powerful as your greatest strength?

The movie also offers lessons in humility versus arrogance, being willing to walk away from friendship or a job on the basis of principle, and what true leadership is.  There are some hopeful examples, too, about how we might become more accepting of diversity in the generations to come.

Again, without giving anything specific away, each character in the movie has a crucial decision that he or she has to make. Because I work with helping people make better decisions, I am constantly aware of how people make the choices they make. What was important to each of the characters? What assumptions were they making? What options did they see?

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I highly recommend you do. If you’re anything like me, you’ll become so immersed that you won’t be thinking of anything other than being in the moment with the movie. But in the days or weeks afterward, I’d encourage you to think about the life lessons that come from this movie and how they apply to your life and the choices you make. Each one of us has a little Spock and a little Kirk inside of us. It’s all about which one we choose to express in any given moment.

Christopher Pike: Are you giving me attitude, Spock? Spock: I am expressing multiple attitudes simultaneously sir, to which one are you referring?


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