Lesson 097: Life preservers of old hatreds
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 6/17 ('Birthright: Part II')


On a planet where historical rival races, the Klingons and the Romulans, have learned to live together, Worf, a proud Klingon warrior, meets a Klingon girl for whom he grows affection.

Upon discovering the Klingon girl has a Romulan father, Worf immediately rejects her. Worf openly tells the girl that he finds the union of her parents, a Klingon and a Romulan, to be obscene and unacceptable.

The girl defends the way of life on her planet and tries to make Worf understand that the Klingons and Romulans on her world have overcome their blinding prejudices and learned to live together in peace.

She pleads with Worf by pointing out that he had liked her before finding out that she was half-Romulan, and now, can he not leave his old hatreds behind and continue to accept her as she is.

Worf admits he is not sure that he can.


None of us are ever born with bigotry and prejudices of other cultures and other people pre-programmed into us. Just like math and science, we have to be schooled in these particularly disgusting human traits.

Courtesy of every self-serving parent, teacher, political, community and religious leader, we grow up absorbing their hatred of others and make them our own.

We make our wonderful gift of life very petty by working hard to diminish the value of others not based on their deeds or words, but rather based on their appearances and beliefs.

It appears that only time is the true cure for these afflictions.

Where many once stood proud to fatally condemn Jews in Europe, locked arm-in-arm to block black American children from entering all-white schools in the US, and made pariahs out of those who would ever dare to marry outside of their own group, the same now stand with heads lowered in shame for past disgraces.

Unfortunately, not all heads are yet lowered together in unison. As some clutch to their old bigotries as life preservers for their old ways of life, so new hatreds are borne by the next generation and we continue further away from achieving a unified people on our planet.

For those, who like Worf, believe that they are not able to change from their old ways of hatred, they remain as the lowest form of so-called intelligent life on our planet, diminutive in their status, composed of flesh, blood and bones and a wasted deformed closed-mind.

When our feelings for each other become based only on actions and not presuppositions, only then will we be on the threshold of a brand new trek.

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