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Star Trek’s characters, like all of us, live in a universe full of injustice, suffering, and struggle—not a utopian vision, but an optimistic one, because they also live as if that better world is possible. We have to do that. We have to. When someone tells us that they’re in distress, in pain, in danger, or in a time loop, we have to say ‘I believe you. I’ll help however I can.’”

— Nicasio Andres Reed (via)

Expectations

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From Star Trek: The Next Generation (S2: E1)

“Don’t you always do what’s expected?”
“I try.”
“Even if it’s not what you really want?”
“Sometimes. Sometimes it’s more important to consider others before yourself.”
“Yes…but sometimes the game is to know when to consider yourself before others. Give yourself permission to be selfish.”

Epiphany

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Angel isn’t a show that I think of often these days, but there’s a scene that really resonated with me when I was 17 and has managed to stick around in the intervening years. It comes near the end of the second season episode ‘Epiphany’, with Angel confiding in Kate what he believes his purpose in life is after grappling with the idea that nothing matters.

In the greater scheme or the big picture, nothing we do matters. There's no grand plan, no big win. If there is no great glorious end to all this, if…nothing we do matters…then all that matters is what we do. ‘Cause that's all there is. What we do, now. Today. I fought for so long. For redemption, for a reward…and finally, just to beat the other guy, but...I never got it. All I want to do is help. I want to help because I don't think people should suffer, as they do. Because if there’s no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness…is the greatest thing in the world.