Lesson 132: Recognizing our differences
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 4/23 ('The Host')


Dr. Crusher has a romantic relationship with an alien ambassador named Odon.

Unbeknownst to Dr. Crusher, the male alien figure, with whom she is involved, is actually only a host body for the real Odon, who resides inside the host's body.

The actual Odon turns out to look quite a bit like a (15-20lbs) lobster that's out of its shell!

Upon discovering the real Odon, Dr. Crusher damningly accuses Odon of not telling her about his true identity. Odon in turn tells Dr. Crusher that she never informed him that she was a single life-form. On Odon's planet, symbiotic double life-forms are the norm and it never occurred to him that he had to announce it.


This is a perfect instance of an isolationistic viewpoint.

Odon suffered from the prejudice and ignorance of not truly appreciating other life forms that were different from his own and thus, led Dr. Crusher, unintentionally, into a fatal emotional relationship.

If we are raised and live in an area where there is only one specific ethnic or cultural type of population (the same as us) that prevails, we are prone to the same risks as Odon, in that we fail to appreciate that there are other people in our world who have differences from us; differences that may range from introductory greeting methods (e.g. handshakes vs. bows) to completely opposite lifestyles and principles.

In the business world, one wrong gesture in a multi-cultural meeting can lead to disaster. Where no offense was intended, a serious insult may be construed. Where an assumption was made, a fact went unexplained.

While it may not be necessary to first volunteer self-descriptive information in any business or personal relationship, it is definitely wise to first consider if the other side has the same fundamental understanding as we do, before we proceed.

It is the diversity in humans, based on culture and religion, where we find a wonderful and unique opportunity to experience ways of life different than our own, without ever leaving our planet.

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