On February 27, 2015, the entertainment world lost an icon, Leonard Nimoy. For the younger set who may not be in the know, or for those who did not watch a great deal of television in the 60’s and beyond or pretty much have resided under the proverbial rock for the last several years, Leonard Nimoy portrayed the character ‘Spock’ on the televised series Star Trek, which ran from 1966 – 1969.
Star Trek became a pop cultural favorite. Decades later people may imitate the split-fingered salute and most everyone can readily identify it as the iconic gesture of the popular Vulcan. Only last week I heard his treasured line from the series quoted, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”
Nimoy, himself, was a wonderful person, not just a talented actor playing the part of an interesting, quirky, long-remembered character. He was generous and well-rounded, with many other talents besides his obvious gift of acting. Not everyone can own or deserve that sentiment.
However. And this is the reason that I find myself sitting here tonight at the computer, this ‘however’. It’s a huge point in a tiny, yet pivotal word. Leonard Nimoy was a memorable man, both on and off camera. But to the millions of viewers who knew him as the brilliant, pointed-eared Vulcan, he was Spock, the one who could take any galactic problem and pulverize it with his scientific logic. It was Spock we imitated, Spock we quoted and related to. A character.
As I was thinking of Spock tonight, that was what struck me. We are in each other’s lives, in each other’s faces on a more regular basis than the once weekly visits of our favorite characters on our television screens. We have the opportunities to have a greater impact, but I think we leave that to the ‘experts’, the characters that someone else has created.
We do not need to have someone else write our lines. We do not need to rely on someone to create a situation for us. Every day we are given our own blank canvases, and what we choose to do with it is our call. We could choose to say something wise and meaningful that will stay with someone, and who knows who it could affect? Dry humor or witty gestures that make someone grin as they walk away or smile as they think about it a few days later…we do not need to rely on television or movie characters to do all of our work for us.
When I do take my final bow, my final ‘curtain call’, I want to know that, or, I should say that I hope that I have walked a path that helped pave a way for someone else, whether I ever know it or not. I hope that maybe I have written a word or so that eased someone’s heart, even if that someone is a person I will never meet. That script would be a keeper.
Every single one of us has the daily opportunity to make a mark on his or her world. Become your own writer. Become your own character. Make your words memorable and wise and your actions so that they meet “…the needs of the many…” But, let’s face it; no one else could ever pull off wearing a pair of ears like that ever again!
Rest peacefully, Mr. Spock.