March 3, 2015

I like to think we all have heroes in our lives, either real or fictional. Oft times, they can be a parent, an athlete, or one of the main characters on a TV show or in a movie. The actors who play these parts usually do not live up to qualities of the parts they play, but sometimes they do. Leonard Nimoy was just that.

For those that do not know (and I can't imagine there are too many of them), Nimoy (who passed away last month) played Mr. Spock, the half human / half Vulcan first officer of the Enterprise on the original Star Trek series. This part, and his approach to it gained him leagues of fans. In fact, the entire series did because of him and all the actors that played key parts, as well as the message it sent out, one of hope, hope that we will survive this juvenile desire for power and riches, and that we will become something much more.

You may not know it, but I have been a fan of science fiction for a very long time. (Like you didn't know that.) Before Star Trek, conventions were held, but they were for people who followed the genre by reading books. (Too many books, too little time.) The video representation of things were made for people of deep thought. But Star Trek brought a positive outlook of the future that nothing else to date did. It brought real heroes into our living rooms that weren't riding horses in the old west. The characters (and as much the actors portraying them) inspired people with their confidence and dedication to doing the right thing. Many inspired by this went on to become doctors, engineers, and astronauts. (There is even a story how Jimmy Doohan who played Scotty, the ship's engineer, kept writing a fan to get them to see him at each convention that he appeared at. That push turned this fan's desire to commit suicide into a desire to live. That fan lives today thanks to Doohan.)

Leonard Nimoy has always been wonderful to his fans, and to everyone he knew. He kept pushing positivity as a way of life. His character's signature line, "Live long and prosper", became his. He was an actor, a director, an author, and a photographer. He interacted with fans through social media like twitter. He kept sending out messages that were positive, all signed with LLAP. He made people believe the world portrayed in the fiction he starred in, is possible. And we know that if were believe things hard enough, we can make them happen. But among all the things he was, he was a hero.

This world needs heroes. We need heroes, people we can look up to. People we can emulate. People to give us goals.

While I like all types of science fiction, Start Trek came along at a time in my life where I needed heroes. It taught me to think for myself, to look at evidence instead of jumping to conclusions based on pure emotion. It introduced me to like-minded people that lived in the belief that someday this world and worlds like it will happen, that we will solve our problems and reach out into the final frontier.

But it also taught me to keep an open mind. And that gave me the opportunity to explore different things like energy healing and Mediumship. So while they were creating fictional stories, they were also teaching us morality, and right and wrong. And these heroes that came across the screen made room more fictional heroes to emulate, like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, Jean-Luc Pickard, and Malcolm Reynolds. And these heroes created real life heroes like astronauts and soldiers. (Many soldiers' motto in war was "What would Captain Kirk do?")

But as for the man that Nimoy was, he believed in the vision that the fiction created, and pushed people to be positive to make that happen. And I find it interesting, looking back on it now, that my original career was that of a computer programmer, a person that deals in logic. Fascinating, no?

So for the man that was the actor and artist, I thank you for all the good work you did in this life, and look forward to seeing what you do in the next. And in the meantime, I will try to live up to the example that you set to be the hero I think I can be.