Lesson 095: Yesterday's enemy, today's friend
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 6/17 ('Birthright: Part II')


Worf, a Klingon warrior, arrives at a sequestered Romulan-held former prison planet where Klingons and Romulans now live together in harmony.

Worf is unable to accept that Romulans and Klingons, who are sworn blood enemies for centuries, can now co-exist here in this manner.

The Romulan leader tells Worf that he does not expect for Worf to understand why things are the way they are on this planet as Worf is set in the old ways of hatred between the two cultures.


In the history of mankind, our propensity has always been to make enemies of each other based on religion, politics, amassing wealth and property. All of which is grounded in suspicion, envy and hatred of others who are 'different' from us and our ways of life.

War, with its catastrophic results in loss of lives and destruction of cultures and entire civilizations, is always the inevitable consequence of our folly in this human condition.

Strangely though, with the passage of time, once our battles have been fought, we find common grounds for dialogue, commerce, and even alliances with our former enemies.

Within just a century, our recent memories can recall the sheer animosity and rage that most in the US felt towards the Germans, the Japanese, the Koreans and the Vietnamese. Yet today, all of the aforementioned live and prosper in the US, living side by side with their former enemies.

The opposite is also true, for friends can soon turn into enemies.

In more recent history, with the fall of Shah Pahlavi in Iran and the ensuing rise in tensions between Iran and the US, Iran's neighboring enemy Iraq quickly became an ally of the US.

Later, as the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the US quickly allied with the locals in Afghanistan to oppose the invading forces.

However, as the tides of man's politics always manages to wash away any castles built in unity, so it was to be that these particular former allies would eventually battle each other another day.

In the world of Star Trek, the alien Organian prediction made to Capt. Kirk, that one day the Klingons and Humans will become friends, is realized a generation later in the time of Capt. Picard, but only after the cost of millions of lives on both sides.

Minds set in the old ways, blinded by hatred, prejudice and fear can never see beyond their own limited unenlightened views. Thus, the obvious parallel between the past Klingon-Human battles and the current Klingon-Romulan feud apparently eludes Worf.

As we evolve with each generation, some manage to see beyond our own self-destructive nature and try to encourage harmony between disparate groups. However, for the most part, we manage to hold on to our prejudices and promote separation within humanity in self-righteous pontification and, ironically enough, in the name of peace.

For true global peace to ever reign supreme in our world, akin to the utopian view of Gene Roddenberry, the founder of Star Trek, the path to a unified world cannot ever be brought about by our leaders; the process must first begin within each of us.

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