Like many of us who grew up in the late 1960’s, I’ve been deeply influenced by the presence of the STAR TREK legacy for most of my life. I’ve watch the original series version more times than I can count. Honestly I haven’t kept up with all of the Next Generation and other spinoffs for various reasons, like “Oh yeah … I almost forgot, I have a life too.”
So recently I found myself taking one of those on-line personality inventory things that help you understand the makeup of your personality, as well the personality of others. I’m and INFJ, which is something that I think, is fairly accurate for me, but is not something I’m prepared to go into a lot of detail on at this writing. But if you’re really interested, I’ll provide the link and you can do your own study to try and figure out who you are.
What I’m interested in looking at here is the way the character of Gene Roddenberry’s and William Shatner’s creation: Captain Kirk has become a big part of who I am. I’ve always been and fan of the series, but I’ve also been a big fan and enthusiast for popular culture, and entertainment in particular.
After I took the personality inventory, I began thinking about how it defined me as a Diplomat, with a Judging trait. And of course like many people I jumped to the conclusion that judging might be a negative trait. The test also defined me with the variant of Turbulent, which to my mind also seems to suggest another negative trait.
But looking into this more deeply I thought that these are not necessarily negative traits when balanced out but other more positive traits that I know are a big part of my makeup. Traits like patience, kindness, caring attitude, and a great ability to empathize which are all traits that I have in abundance.
Which gets be back to Captain Kirk, and my memories of one episode in particular where through a transporter malfunction of some sort, Captain Kirk becomes two separate personalities existing in parallel universes. With his personality separated he is not really fit to exist in either universe, and suffers delusions of grandeur in one, and deep feeling of anxiety and inadequacy in the other. The point of the story being: that to be whole the positive and negative sides of Captain Kirk must somehow reintegrate in order for him to be whole, and to survive and be the leader of the starship that as Spock would say, was “his first and best destiny.”
Like Captain Kirk, I believe and understand that it is the combination of all or our personality traits, both positive and negative that makes us who we are, and who we will be. Kirk’s reintegration made him the strong, decisive, adventurous leader and fit for duty as the Captain of the Enterprise. Just like Captain Kirk, it is the combination of our character traits that make us fit to lead our own enterprise, our own lives as only we can.
So, I give a big “thumbs up” to Gene Roddenberry, William Shatner, and the venerable Captain Kirk for one of the many life lessons transported to me through time by the STAR TREK Universe.
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