Friday, September 08, 2006

To Boldly Go...

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the first airing of the first episode of the original "Star Trek" series.

According to the programming powers that be, the show never really found its audience. It was cancelled after only three seasons. For all intents and purposes, it was destined to be a mere "blip" on our collective consciousness.

But Gene Roddenberry, the show's creator, never gave up on his vision. He never allowed the industry to define his success.

Regardless of whether or not you like the series, however, no one today could call it a flop. Countless Trekkies still dress up as their favorite characters, attend conventions, and analyze script inconsistencies. (The story is told of how William Shatner started out using random numbers for "Star Date," until he discovered that fans were keeping track, and were getting confused!) Successful movies and spinoff shows followed. The show's original opening is the most famous split infinitive in the English language.

Which goes to show three things:

1.) Correct grammar is not essential for success. There is no such thing as perfection. Worrying about making something "perfect" before showing it to the world is a sure-fire recipe for self-defeat.

2.) Some things get better with age. While "Star Trek" may not have found its niche right away, it has aged remarkably well. Granted, the special effects are as cheesy as they come, but it's still fun after 40 years. And its themes of human spirit, exploration, tolerance for diversity, and searching for understanding continue to resonate.

3.) Never believe what they tell you. If you remain true to your vision, you will eventually connect with others who share that vision with you. Rather than tailor your dreams to try to reach the masses, instead, adhere to your inspiration, and believe that it will one day inspire others. Go ahead -- boldly go where no one has gone before...