I cannot die on every hill. My battles, much like yours, must be chosen with care and fought with craft, with skill, with all the little pieces of me. Strength in numbers prevails, many hands, many hands. But the clarion that calls to thee may not match the resonance of my heart. The bell that calls my spirit to the fore may not be the one that rings for you. I cannot die on every hill. And neither can you, though you may try. Torn asunder, each piece, every moment frantically contributing, calling, pursuing until close and spent. We may be comrades, you and I. But we cannot die on every hill. It is more than should be expected of us.
Archive for future
As I watched the conclusion of Star Trek Discovery’s first season, one phrase came to mind.
“Do the work.”
I think it’s an overriding thematic element that runs through all Star Trek, but it tends to get ground under discussions of starship physics and alien physiology. After all, Starfleet and the Federation are supposed to be the utopian, post scarcity-ideal. They are us, ARRIVED at our best version of humanity.
They did the work.
But static systems, societal or otherwise, are nigh-impossible to create. The “Golden Era” that we often ogle fondly in hindsight is usually just that, a short-lived blip spanning five to ten years. Often shorter, often well-defined only in the history books, that “best version” only comes around after it’s been fought for, after an ideal has been set and reached for.
You have to do the work.
And the work is not easy, or expeditious and sometimes while in pursuit of an ideal, you’re going to get kneecapped by someone who thinks it’s just too much trouble. Throughout this season of Discovery we have seen characters who felt that ideal was nice and all, but ultimately unattainable. It was simpler to get dirty. It “had to be done”.
It’s not always the right work.
But in the end it didn’t help. The dirty work that “had to be done” in order to service the utopian ideal did nothing but drag that ideal closer to the trashbin. It wasn’t until an entire crew put their food down and said “NO”. Until that crew chose the harder path, the more complicated path, the more HUMANE path that we saw Starfleet’s course righted again. Starfleet and the Federation headed back towards that utopia that every one of us fans lionizes and holds dear.
I had the privilege today to hear a 90 year old newspaper man catch himself using an insensitive term in a pitch and correct himself with grace. The world did not end. The ground did not shake. Everyone in the room took one, very small, step closer to being better than we were before.