Being a Trekkie (of the original series) and having just discovered this amazing phenomenon of people creating full feature television episodes of the original Star Trek series and publishing to YouTube for free, I’ve been struck by the nature of these episodes. While we could easily dismiss these shows as the goofy antics of extreme Trekkie-nerds, the truth is that they are quite good. Not necessarily the acting, but the story lines. These episodes have been created by people yearning for the original vision of Gene Roddenberry, which was to create interesting television shows in which each episode was a journey (not to outer space) but to our inner moral and cultural value system.
These Trekkies have yearned so much to continue Roddenberry’s vision that they have meticulously re-created all the sets, uniforms, makeup, sound effects, characters, and even improved on the visual effects. They have hungered for the values contained within the original Star Trek legacy, not the modern version focusing on action and special effects, but the true flavor of story line and character development that evokes thought and consideration.
I have found myself watching and enjoying these episodes and not even being too bothered by the sub-par acting. Instead I’ve found myself captured by their moral messages. And, as I’ve watched and observed my own reaction and thought process, I’ve come to the realization that a growing number of people truly hunger for values.
Which could explain why we seem to so easily forget huge scandals in government and business, because the Enron, Bernie Madoff, Credit Default Swap, 2000 Florida election, 1980’s S&L crisis, and so many more, are of such scale and so horrible to consider the immorality that lead to these scenarios playing out, that it’s easier to just forget about them and move on with our lives. We tend to keep ourselves close to our families and our circle of friends in which we find moral congruency and not have to think too hard about the really bad stuff going on around us.
The good news is that while a sizable portion of commercial television is producing lowest-common-denominator programs, there is also a growing wave of people hungering for values. The Star Trek imitators are just one example. Socially responsible investing, social entrepreneurialism, green business, fair trade certification, green banks, permaculture, local food systems, socially and environmentally oriented angel investors, conscious buying, and most important of all, the growing movement of people leaving their corporate jobs and opting out of the mainstream to venture into the unknown and do their own thing, discover their creative mojo, and live their uniqueness.
As mentioned in last week’s blog, Art of Balance, balance is an art form not a science, and it can only be achieved in our professional lives by following our bliss and doing our authentic work in the world. The point at which we move into the realm of balance as an art form is when we merge our deepest desires for value systems with our creative expressions, and give to the world what the Trek nerds are doing, what the artists, musicians, slam poets, social entrepreneurs and culture-oriented leaders are doing. It comes when we express ourselves with authenticity and integrity—walking the talk of our values and reflecting those values in all that we do.