TrekAcademy


Lesson 083: Blinding conviction ignores truth
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 4/4 ('Suddenly Human')

[Scene]

The crew of the Enterprise finds a human youth, who had been previously captured by aliens and raised by them as one of their own.

When the adoptive alien father of the youth demands the return of his son, Capt. Picard declines the request because Capt. Picard believes the youth belongs back with his own human kind.

As the alien parent threatens to go to war, against the entire Federation if need be, for the return of his son, the youth manages to physically injure Capt. Picard in a stabbing incident.

After recovering from the wound, Capt. Picard tells the alien parent that a crime had been committed, confessing that the crime was not committed by the youth with his act of violence, but rather committed by Capt. Picard himself.

Capt. Picard admits that in trying to help the youth to recognize his human origin and in his own desire to help the youth to re-assimilate back into human society, he had failed to ask what the youth had actually wanted.

As the youth wanted nothing more than to return to the only home he knew, as expressed clearly through his act of violence, Capt. Picard returns the youth to his adoptive alien parent.

[Lesson]

Sometimes our convictions can be more blinding than a high noon sun on a clear day.

Being totally self-assured that our opinion or decision is absolutely the only correct path available is usually a good sign that we have closed ourselves off from seeing the whole picture.

In any situation involving more than one person, there can easily be at least a minimum of two differing thoughts on the same issue. We would, therefore, be very negligent if we were to form our opinion or decision based solely on our own beliefs, knowledge and experience, while totally ignoring the view of the others involved.

It does take courage, along with humility, to admit at least the plausibility of other views being more correct than our own. Even in the presence of both of these admirable human qualities, we may still fall victim to seeing things only in our own way, for such is the power of our own egos.

With objective vigilance and an ego in-check, perhaps we won't have to be stabbed like Capt. Picard before we see the error of our ways.

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