The Next Generation

Yes, I am a Star Trek fan as I grew up enthralled with the original series. I became an avid fan of  Star Trek: The Next Generation but didn’t have time to enjoy all the Star Trek spin offs and fan fiction. Strong stories based on deep themes with diverse characters sort of take on a life of their own. Gene Roddenberry’s vision of our future is worth attention. We should boldly explore all the fun of living that includes the present, the future, and the past.

There are the family stories that can be stranger than fiction and some of those are happy family stories – here’s a picture:


These are only the “west coast” grandchildren. My sister and I live in Oregon and some will say it could have something to do with the water more than babies being a contagious condition. <grin>

There was a family barbecue to celebrate everyone being in the same state on the same day. The birthday cake was divided into four sections to honor two birthdays and two half-birthdays. Yep, that’s us, any excuse for a party, even a half-birthday.

Our parents had five children and 22 grandchildren. There are now ever more great-grandchildren as our siblings in Ohio have even more grandchildren.

The original Star Trek series was a bit more like “Space Cowboys” than Gene Roddenberry envisioned and The Next Generation was a bit more cerebral, technical, and with special effects that Gene may not have anticipated.

My childhood was that original type of space-cowboy story, with generations of ancestors and layers of crafts, skills, and achievements regarding the space crafted for where and how we lived our lives. There were adventures but there were also lots of morality sermons.

Every Original Star Trek TV show was a space adventure and Captain Kirk seemed to have a fist fight every week, but each episode ended with some type of morality sermon. The theme of the show was to boldly go where no man has gone before, but the show producers felt a moral lesson needed to trump the bold adventure. It’s been decades since I’ve seen any of those original shows but a Google search on “Captain Kirk Sermons” has about 403,000 results

According to my parents, everything was a life lesson and as we were Catholics there was usually a percentage of guilt assigned prior to the joy reward.

Star Trek: The Next Generation began 100 years after the original series. But in my family it’s half that. These babies will have “communicators” even more versatile  than those flip & twist gadgets that were so sci-fi fifty years ago. In every episode (I think) there was an electronic tablet for Captain Kirk to sign authorizing something. We’ve got those tablets now but how good are our signatures? Cursive writing is no longer taught in schools.

In Star Trek: The Next Generation, instead of fist fights and expendable “red shirt” characters, Captain Picard read books, drank Earl Grey tea, and went on archaeological digs.

I hope this next generation of our family will have access to all those super cool tools and maybe use phasers to dig ditches because there will still be a need for digging ditches. The tools will mean the next generation can do their work easier and with passion while they also communicate clearly. They will have access all kinds of historical records by asking a question, and have multiple scenarios to consider prior to making a choice. That’s one thing I anticipate will never change – a choice will be needed.

I hope the next generation accepts having access to global databases of information and stellar communication systems. I hope they have tons of fun while putting all of the above into uses that are beneficial to many. It’s okay if the current choice with the technology available is to play games about angry birds and view cat tricks. Fads are momentary choices that barely impact a decade. Generations last a whole lot longer.

These are turbulent times on Mother Earth but babies keep arriving.

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