Lesson 074: Crime of wasted time
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 5/25 ('The Inner Light')


Capt. Picard's mind is placed into an alternate reality by an alien probe.

While in the alternate reality, Capt. Picard lives a lifetime as a family man (husband and father) on a planet doomed to extinction because of its dying sun.

After discovering the inevitable doomed fate of the planet, Capt. Picard advises his grown daughter on the planet to seize the time now and to live her life to the fullest, for the time will never come again.


This is by no means a new idea or message. We have all grown up with the phrases tempus fugit, carpe diem, smell the roses, live for today, etc., each intended to remind us to make the best use of today.

What this episode manages to do, however, is to highlight how often we disregard this very simple concept as we go about our day-to-day lives, worrying about the minutia of today's events and how they might negatively impact us tomorrow……until it is too late!

Only when confronted with irreversible catastrophe, do we finally pause, to view the reality of the passage of time - and the disaster need not always be a dying sun.

All too often, it is the passing of a family member, or a loved one, or a friend, or the news of fatal illness that can jolt us into appreciating the very brief time we all have here on earth.

The loss of life is given to us as a mandate of birth. What we do with that life in the interim is up to us. For all the time wasted in useless, unproductive thoughts and actions, may we truly be ashamed.

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