Like Picard it’s your choice.
We have powerful tools: openness, optimism, and the spirit of curiosity. all they have is secrecy and fear. And fear is the great destroyer.Jean-Luc Picard, (www.magicalquote.com)
This article starts with a controversial statement. If you aren’t one for controversial topics and/or are easily offended, please feel free to stop here.
The new Star Trek show, Picard, is an excellent, rewarding show that has potential to help you make better choices and become an even better person. You should be watching it.
Yeah I said it.
And I am going to say more.
From comments online, I’m in the minority with my love for Picard. While critics praise it, most individual feedback runs along the lines of “OMG they ruined it! Star Trek is happy/fun/easy,” “he/she would have NEVER ended up like THAT!,” “where are the episode endings?!?!” among many, many other complaints.
I love this show.
I love the depth, the fragility, the rawness, the failures, and the – yes – the story arc that is way longer than one episode.
I love the acknowledgement – implicit and explicit – that while we want to be like Picard of The Next Generation and Seven of Nine of Voyager, we relate with the trials and the how-did-I-end-up-here of Raffi (in a not great way) and Will Riker & Deanna Troi (in a heartwarming, yet still heartbreaking, way).
Here is the second controversial statement: Picard fails to be easy, fails to have a simple story arc, fails to have an imperfect but still shining hero and THAT is what pisses people off & why people quit watching it.
And that is why you should be watching it and why it can help you make better choices and become a better person.
At one point – after everything has gone to shit and its “too dark” according to an online reviewer – Picard speaks softly and slowly, “We have powerful tools: openness, optimism, and the spirit of curiosity. All they have is secrecy and fear. And fear is the great destroyer.”
He is speaking also to us. We have those same, powerful tools; we all have the openness, optimism, curiosity, and we also have secrecy and fear. We also have choice of which tools we’ll reach for in every situation.
Just like in Picard, many, many people have a nicer, fuller, more complete toolbox than others. Making ‘good’ choices, is easier for some people than it is for others. Sometimes you will have the new, shiny, complete toolbox – like the Enterprise – and sometimes you will appear to have few to no tools.
And, like the characters of Picard, you still make a choice. A choice to reach out. A choice to try.
A choice to ask. A choice to speak. A choice to do nothing. You chose to reach into your toolbox and make a choice.
Just like the imperfect characters, imperfect people make choices with the tools, information, and experience they have at that moment and they mess up in ways that can never be fixed. And just like in Picard, we are all heroes and villains of stories. Often both, depending on the storyteller.
And just like longer, unclear story arcs, our lives and our lessons and our learnings are messy, unclear. Crap happens right when it can’t be anticipated (Covid19 anyone?!) and shouldn’t (miscarriage, lay-off, cancer, house fire).
No one rushes in to save it all. No one has all the information.
Just like in real life.
Like Picard it’s your choice. There is one huge difference worth noting: unlike Picard – who is fictional- you are real and YOU are creating YOUR future.
In fact, you are creating THE future, right now, with each choice, with the information and experience you have right now, doing the best you can.
So, watch Picard, allow the discomfort help you make better choices, embrace the discomfort to stretch yourself into an even better version of yourself.
As Picard says – many, many times – “Make it so.”