Lesson 042: Finality in closing communications
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 1/17 ('When the Bough Breaks')


Aliens on an undetectable cloaked planet appear unannounced and kidnap some of the children from the Enterprise. The aliens intend to keep the children as their own, offering only their alien advanced technology information in a negotiated trade for the children.

Even though the situation is absolutely unacceptable to everyone on the Enterprise, including Capt. Picard, the Captain realizes he has to keep the aliens engaged in talking and negotiating, otherwise, the aliens will simply cloak the planet and disappear with the kidnapped children forever.


Whether it is on a personal or a professional level, maintaining open communications is mandatory for continuing relationships and accomplishing goals. If the goals are necessary or desirable, then closing the lines of communications is a fatal mistake.

From the peace negotiating parties of nations at war, to two individuals on a quest for possible romance between themselves, the one underlying foundation for both is the proper exchange of thoughts and desires through communications.

In situations where the outcome of closing dialog results in abject failure and possible loss of everything, including lives sometimes, keeping the lines of communication open is a must, regardless of the cost in pride or image.

The closing of channels of communications is permanent and helps no one. Whereas, by continuing to listen to the other side, no matter how objectionable their words may be, there is still the opportunity for reaching a solution.

Compromising by just listening is a very small price to pay, especially if the alternative is enduring permanent loss.

If nothing else, continuing the dialog accomplishes the retention of the most important resource of all - time. Once communications is closed, there is no more time left and, therefore, no hope of any success, ever.

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