Lesson 103: Death is not the answer
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 7/18 ('Eye of the Beholder')


Data, an android, explains how during the initial time of his activation, it was very difficult for him to properly integrate new commands into his existing system.

This accumulation of information was proving so problematic that he considered it might be safer and easier to do a complete shut down of his systems and performing an initial reboot. However, such an action would permanently erase all of his memories, in effect, simulate committing suicide.

Instead Data chose to treat the information integration problems as challenges to meet rather than as insurmountable obstacles.


At times when the problems in our lives tend to overwhelm us with despair and hopelessness, it may seem easier and perhaps even more acceptable to think about ending all of our problems at one time with just one quick and simple life ending act.

This is, however, never the right answer. Not only is it considered illegal in most of man's laws and many faiths and beliefs, but it is also a most cowardly way to solve problems.

Problems of this extreme nature, which cause such devastating thoughts, must be faced head on and confronted with the total sum of one's knowledge and experiences, and without doubt, with the help of family, friends and experts in the problem field.

No matter how severe and relentless an enemy the problem is, our greatest weapon in the fight is our mind. By choosing to see the problem as a foe to combat, instead of surrendering to it, we earn our right to life.

When the problems appear indomitable, we need to remember Anne Frank and Stephen Hawkins and realize that even in the face of imminent death or lifelong incapacity, we humans have the ability to fight to survive, to live and fight yet another day.

Data's realization of the importance of maintaining the continuity of his existence only serves to remind us that, as humans, we quite often take our gift of sentient life for granted; instead of cherishing our life and fighting with our last breath to hold on to it, we sometimes fall prey to simply squandering it.

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