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Lesson 107: Resisting the changing wind
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 1/20 ('Heart of Glory')

[Scene]

A renegade Klingon, set in the old ways of the Klingon warrior traditions of the hunter and prey, finds the new ways of alliance and peace with the former enemy, the Federation, unacceptable.

While on board the Enterprise, the renegade Klingon tries to convince Worf, a Klingon and Starfleet officer, to betray the Federation and join him in his quest for the old ways of Klingon glory by helping him to commandeer the Enterprise.

When the renegade Klingon speaks of the thirst of the warrior for battle, Worf tells his fellow Klingon that he looks for battles in the wrong place and that the true test of a warrior is not without, but within, inside one's own heart; overcoming one's own weaknesses is the greatest battle for the warrior, and to talk of glory, conquests and creating legends mean nothing without duty, honor and loyalty, without all of which a warrior is nothing.

[Lesson]

While the old adage of 'It's hard to teach old dog new tricks' may hold true for dogs, we should never extend the metaphor to humans. Human beings are intelligent, thinking, adaptive life forms - well, most are!

Those people, who find new changes in their life style, community or environment unacceptable, will invariably oppose the new views which, at first, are often held by only a minority section of the population.

Their opposition is firmly entrenched in their belief that their view point is absolutely correct.

In trying to bring credibility to their movement to resist changes, they will usually espouse the righteousness of their chosen path by declaring they are aligned with their deity, their God, in their steadfastness.

As time passes and the voice of the minority sweeps across the land and becomes the voice of the majority, these misguided few will continue in their reverence for the old ways, thus, in turn becoming the minority themselves.

It is inevitable, that with the passage of time, comes changes in established ways of life, and that which was once quite acceptable can now no longer be tolerated, and vice versa.

In 1963, Alabama Gov. George Wallace stood in defiance of a Federal Government ruling by blocking the entrance of black American students into the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. His battle cry of 'segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever' was quite acceptable to most of the local white-majority at that time.

As history teaches us, over the next decade, this type of view point in the US dissipated down to only the few extremists.

Ironically - after multiple failed attempts to win a US Presidential election and following an assassination attempt on his life by Arthur Bremer (a white-man seeking celebrity status) which left Wallace a paraplegic, the man who was once the icon for segregation of the races, had changed his ways so much over 20 years that he actually received an overwhelming number of black American voters' support to become the Governor of Alabama one final time in 1983.

People who do not grow and progress with changes in time and culture, holding on firmly to their old prejudices, old differences, and old grudges are very a sad lot who should be pitied by the rest. Their open defiance of the treatise, that lack of adaptability in evolution leads to extinction, soon sequesters and removes them from human society.

Blinded by bigotry and ignorance, people can separate themselves from society until they become the evil they themselves had originally sought to protest.

Whether the age old conflict is between races, religions, cultures, or even between humans and aliens, we should pay heed to Worf's observation of the misguided always looking for battle in the wrong places.

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