By Eliana Barriga
Publisher and Managing Editor for The Retail Observer
July gives us a chance to contemplate what freedom means. Give me some elbow room, because I’m going to suggest a startling framework for our discussion – I propose that we take Star Trek: Next Generation as our guide.
Happiness and freedom, so the world’s wisdom teachings tell us, increase when we apply our bodies, hearts, will, minds, and souls expansively, with a growing awareness of other people’s needs. It strikes me that the Star Trek characters embody those five “tools of expansion” in ways that are relevant to our success.
Geordi is the body. He cares for the physical plant and makes the ship go. His blindness symbolizes the fact that without the higher faculties of feeling, will, and mind, the body is just a lump, incapable of initiating action.
Deanna Troi is feeling. Calm feeling, not reason and logic, is the faculty that enables us to tell right from wrong. When Picard needs to know the thoughts of an alien race, he turns to Troi who applies her heart’s intuition. Nor is Troi ever in doubt about the rightness or wrongness of a course of action that Picard proposes.
Worf is will power – obvious! Worf can go two ways. When he’s swayed by raw emotion, his decisions are unwise, but if he follows the calm, intuitive voice of Picard, his power gets channeled positively.
Data is the rational mind–capable of impressive computational feats, he’s lost when it comes to relating to humans through intuitive feeling.
Picard is the integrated human being: a leader of strength, refined feeling, volition, and wisdom who uncompromisingly lets himself be guided by impersonal truth.
Consider starting a business. The first stage is the body: finding space, ordering product, setting up systems. Once the physical plant is running, we pour our hearts into making the business go, while facing challenges to our will and intelligence along the way. If the business succeeds, it can serve as an incubator for others to develop their own happiness tools.
Join me, business Trekkies, as we celebrate the pursuit of freedom and success.
Happy Fourth of July,