I grew up in a family of Trekkies: you know those people who dress up like Spock, Romulans and Klingons in search of the next convention in order to mindlessly roam hotel halls and embarrass the heck out of the poor kid they decided to drag along! I remember being all of fourteen years old, watching two guys pretending to speak Klingonese. I remember thinking that it must be fun to act like a rude jerk, spit while talking, and be a bit of a thug while blaming the actions on the Klingon persona: that would have been completely different from my everyday personality. For a brief second, I though really hard about joining in but realized that my time would be better spent focusing on learning something I could really use (and avoiding spending time with boys). I chose to focus on my education and learning a foreign language.
Ten years later, I was a college student in my second year of Spanish. At that time, a good friend married a man who claimed to be fluent in Klingonese. Honestly, it was darn hard not to laugh at him. I wondered how he could possibly use that skill. Years later, I received my answer.
As a graduate student studying psychology I really wanted a coveted APA internship. They are so very difficult to get and rarely pay well. Even the best students rarely succeed in getting one. One day while going through the paper, I saw an ad for a mental health clinic: it stated that it was offering a very well paid APA internship for a candidate that understood the mythology of Star Trek and could speak fluent Klingonese!! I was floored!! If I had only joined in with those boys many, many moons before or actually tried to understand my friend’s husband!
Who’s laughing now? Actually, anyone whose heard my spanish.
The beauty of humanity is simply that everyone is unique: no two people are the same. The world needs every single one of us, for we each have a unique way of seeing things. I often ponder the problem inherent in discrimination: could our society inadvertantly stifle the very person capable of curing cancer simply because he or she is poor, a minority, homosexual, disabled, or old? Think about it.
Each of us, as a unique entity is innately attracted to certain activities, subjects, hobbies, and/or occupations. These personal curiosities connect us to the world, enable us to explore ourselves, and create new skills and the development of talent. Besides, if we enjoy something we will spend more time engaging in that activity, learning about it, concentrating on the ways in which that activity will benefit us and maybe other people. I can’t help but think of Alfred C. Kinsey here: where would the world be if he wasn’t a pervert disguised in the respectable suit of a professor/researcher? At least millions of teenage boys can use his argument that delayed sexual experience is harmful to the human psyche (for better or worse).
The point is that the more we are interested in something, the more time and energy we will put towards it and the more we will succeed at it. Sometimes, it is our personal interests that keep us going in monotonous times. These interests can lead to careers, hobbies, and in some cases notoriety, setting us apart from everyone else in the crowd.
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. – Albert Einstein
There are so many twists and turns in life. It is almost as though the subconscious mind directs us over the course of many years to develop interests, skills and curiosities that we may not understand at any one time but eventually they come together for us in a synchronistic way. Every time we find ourselves engrossed in something there is probably a reason for it, even if we do not understand it at the time.
So, my challenge for you is to ask yourself what you are interested in doing. Is there something that you are curious about? Is there something that you want to learn more about? Or try for the first time?
Then, spend just a few minutes a day researching or engaging in this new curiosity just to see where it leads you.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do… Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain
Wishing you the best of success,
P.S. Duj HvoqtaH (Klingonese for “Always trust your instincts”) and yIn nI’ je chep (“Live long and Prosper”)