Essential Information for the College Bound -- Spring 2013



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Taking The Next Step
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From Star Trek come the words, "If man is to survive, he will have learned to take delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life's exciting variety, not something to fear."

These were the words that Mario Crocetti, Principal of Wellington High School, used recently to close his address to the graduating class of 2013. His message was one of celebration of our pluralistic society. From the most local communities to the communities of the wider world we occupy, people of great diversity come together - often possessing and protecting very different constructs of how to live their lives. The differences do not disappear. However, our willingness to acknowledge them becomes all the more essential to our survival in an ever coalescing world.

I was intrigued by the reference to Star Trek as a vehicle for conveying this most important lesson. Here was a cult TV program, lasting only three years (1996-1999), that morphed into movies - the most recent, Star Trek into Darkness, currently showing - and has become a cultural classic. Curious about its staying power, and its ability to reinforce such an important message in a graduation speech, I decided to do what we do best today, Google. I plugged in, "Star Trek, Lessons Learned," and I found a multitude. David Borgenicht, an author and a life-long trekkie, offered several I found compelling:

   "The best way to travel is to boldly go where no one has gone before." This is true for vacations, for self-exploration, for life itself. If you want your days filled with adventure, laughter, love, learning and the occasional mind-meld, follow this route.

   "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few--or the one." Sometimes you must make great sacrifices for the greater good. And, like the Genesis device, it will all come back around.

   "The most powerful force in the universe is friendship." It's more powerful than phasers, photon torpedos, even more powerful than the force itself. With friends, you can accomplish any task, escape any perilous situation, defeat any enemy--and you get to laugh together when it's all over, an ongoing challenge for humanity.

As I watch the outstanding students with whom I have had the privilege of working, I am enthusiastic about their ability to build on these "lessons" in college where there is much to learn, many opportunities to grow and a future to plan. But there is nothing more important than embracing the variety of people all bundled together. It is a unique platform to "learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life's exciting variety, not something to fear." It is also a time to consider other lessons of Star Trek: go boldly; consider the needs of many; and embrace the most powerful force in the universe, friendship.