Lesson 134: Appreciate the other viewpoint
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 5/21 ('The Perfect Mate')


A metamorph named Kamala, a sentient empathic alien life form raised to serve as a spouse, is being transported on the Enterprise to her wedding.

Capt. Picard expresses to Kamala his dismay and difficulty in accepting that any sentient being can live only to be what someone else wants them to be.

Kamala explains that for her to be any other way would be the same as asking a Vulcan to forego logic or a Klingon to be non-violent; for a metamorph there is no greater satisfaction in life than to bring pleasure and fulfill the needs of the one with whom they bond.


This kind of servitude aspirations may seem quite backward and even pre-21st Century to most of us today.

However, to truly acknowledge and respect other cultures, we first need to shed ourselves of our own prejudices and limited views in life, for our individual ways of life may appear just as unacceptable and inconceivable to people of other cultures.

In the many cultures and nations of our world, children are raised to - remain within their faith, choose their own path, apprentice their father's profession, be entrepreneurial, be compelled to finish their education beyond the college level, enter the work force as soon as possible, not allow women to work, leave their parents when they reach adulthood, remain with their parents even after their marriage, have pre-marital physical relations, remain celibate until marriage, marry whomever they wish, abide only by their parents choice for marriage, marry for life regardless of any complications, and divorce on a whim.

While many of these conditions seem quite contradictory, they are all parts of the human equation.

We can pick and choose which of these factors pertain to our own lives. However, when we cannot accept those who may choose the other attributes that do not fit into our lives, we cut ourselves off from each other. In turn, the ones who choose the attributes we do not select for ourselves may end up dismissing us equally.

Capt. Picard might have appreciated Kamala's outlook on life better if he had paid heed to the words 'Try to see it my way…While you see it your way, there's a chance that we might fall apart before too long.', courtesy of the Beatles, 1965.

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