Sunday, January 8, 2023

#8 / Seeking Something Else?


I was never a Star Trek fan, but I am reliably informed that Captain Kirk, pictured above, whose Star Trek character was brought to life by William Shatner, is just about as beloved as they come, when we are searching for heroes to exemplify all that is best in these United States of America. 
Near the end of last year, one of my Facebook Friends, whose professional life has been devoted to the protection of the California coast, posted the following text on Facebook. It is worth reading, even for those who don't come to the text already possessed of a deep appreciation for William Shatner and Captain Kirk: 

Please spend two minutes reading this note from William Shatner, aka, Captain Kirk, from Star Trek:
“Last year, I had a life-changing experience at 90 years old. I went to space, after decades of playing an iconic science-fiction character who was exploring the universe. I thought I would experience a deep connection with the immensity around us, a deep call for endless exploration.
"I was absolutely wrong. The strongest feeling, that dominated everything else by far, was the deepest grief that I had ever experienced.
"I understood, in the clearest possible way, that we were living on a tiny oasis of life, surrounded by an immensity of death. I didn’t see infinite possibilities of worlds to explore, of adventures to have, or living creatures to connect with. I saw the deepest darkness I could have ever imagined, contrasting so starkly with the welcoming warmth of our nurturing home planet.

"This was an immensely powerful awakening for me. It filled me with sadness. I realized that we had spent decades, if not centuries, being obsessed with looking away, with looking outside. I did my share in popularizing the idea that space was the final frontier. But I had to get to space to understand that Earth is and will stay our only home. And that we have been ravaging it, relentlessly, making it uninhabitable."

William Shatner, Actor 
Another Facebook Friend, someone else who has spent his professional life trying to protect the natural environment on Planet Earth, quickly responded to that comment by William Shatner, as follows: 

It's a shame that so many don't understand the value of what they have vs living life always seeking something else to complete them. It doesn't mean we don't explore and investigate, just make sure we value and protect what we have.
It is true, isn't it, that so many of us are "seeking something else"? So many of us are. Aren't those "seeking something else" a lot like that prodigal son? When we go into space, as Shatner did, we have to ask ourselves, "why"?
It isn't true, actually, that we have to go into space, ourselves, to know what Shatner is talking about, and that story about the prodigal son still resonates. We will be more than welcomed if we come back home!

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