Continuing inspiration from Capt. Kirk

“Space: the final frontier.”

Those familiar words introduced each episode of “Star Trek,” the groundbreaking television series that was already in syndication by the time I began to watch it.

The program focused on the missions and adventures of the crew of the starship Enterprise, led by Capt. James T. Kirk, who was always ready and willing to “boldly go where no one has gone before.”

William Shatner gained lifelong fame for playing that role, but it never occurred to me that one day, he might actually travel to space.

And when he first donned the United Federation of Planets uniform for his fictional role in 1966, Shatner probably never dreamed that he would one day actually blast off into space.

This past week, at age 90, Shatner boarded Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin ship and flew to an altitude of 66.5 miles above the Earth. The flight lasted about 10 minutes before the craft safely parachuted back to the surface.

In the process, the man who played Capt. Kirk actually got to experience the blackness of space — and he became the oldest person ever to do so.

What an incredible experience that must have been!

Growing up, I found those TV episodes fascinating. They introduced me to the concept of exploration and cultivated the idea that all sorts of beings could live and work in harmony. Of course, not every alien race was friendly and welcoming, and those spaceflights were obviously risky and dangerous. But the show sparked my imagination — as I am sure it did for millions of other people.

Shatner’s actual space adventure should serve as an inspiration as well. For a man of 90 to still be hosting television programs such as “The UnXplained” on the History channel is impressive. But for him to undertake such a trip is pretty incredible, in my opinion.

I’m glad he had the opportunity to make one of his dreams come true.

That got me to thinking, though. What dreams should I pursue? What things do I really want to do here on Earth? Or maybe even in space?

How about you?

Give it some thought. And then, make it happen.

As Capt. Kirk has said: “You either believe in yourself or you don’t.”


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