Star Trek: 10 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Worf

Lesson 1 - Wearing a cowboy hat and pretending your hand is a gun is fun for all ages.

You probably already know this if you're an avid sci-fi TV watcher or book reader, but aliens are more than just cool characters in a story. Aliens actually serve to better illustrate the human experience in general in all its many aspects and forms. Star Trek isn't any different and we can learn many different things about life from all the many alien characters, but especially from our favourite Klingon in Star Fleet, Lieutenant-Commander Worf. Worf isn't a typical Klingon. First of all, he was rescued and raised by humans and eventually went on to serve the United Federation of Planets in the human-centric Star Fleet. He served on board the USS Enterprise, as one of the officers of Deep Space Nine and then as the Tactical Officer and eventually Commander of the USS Defiant. It's not quite the usual thumbnail sketch of a Klingon officer's career. So what can we learn from this atypical alien who seems to "cling on" more to a human identity than a Klingon one? Let's take a look at some specific instances that illustrate some real life lessons.

10. The Ever-Powerful Importance Of Family - "Family", "Reunion" And "Sons & Daughters" (Deep Space Nine)

Family, adopted or otherwise, comes before anything save that of personal health or safety. That's an axiomatic fact. Without family, you lack support, comfort, confidence and a sense of pride. If you have family who truly love and support you, they give you the ability to make something of yourself and put your interests before their own. Of course, you want to reciprocate and support, comfort, assure and be proud of them as well. In the episode "Family ", Worf is uncomfortable and embarrassed by his love for his human parents, the Rozhenkos. Why? We see Sergey, Worf's father, constantly trying to finagle his way into a tour of the Enterprise, but in the process we see him simultaneously declaring his pride for his son to every officer in his wake. Worf's mother, Helena, talks about the difficulty in accommodating a Klingon child's diet but how much he enjoyed her blood pie. In the end, the source of Worf's discomfort is revealed to be his discommendation from the Klingon Empire and fear of bringing any shame to the family he admittedly loves. Sergey and Helena affirm to him that he is their son ... and everything takes second place to that fact. Public shaming or exile means nothing to them as long as he is well. Worf embraces his parents and learns about their unconditional acceptance and love. Klingons don't love in the same way as humans do; to them, love is a dynamic and passionate thing that is heavily ritualized and full of pride. For a dynamic and passionate person like Worf to illustrate the gentle and accepting nature of familial love only serves to reinforce how much we underestimate how powerful and important it really is. Sometimes Klingon love incurs a great price. In "Reunion" Worf is introduced to his son, Alexander, who he has not known for the first two years of the boy's life. When his identity is known, Worf hesitates to complete the marriage ritual with K'Ehleyr, Alexander's mother, because he is reluctant to share his discommended name and the dishonour that accompanies it with his mate and child. Though his first instinct is to bond with his new family, he knows that his shame will become theirs. Still, when K'Ehleyr is murdered by Duras, Worf immediately discards his Star Fleet rank and responsibilities in order to invoke his right of vengeance. When he is ready to deliver the death blow to Duras, the traitor reminds Worf that if he is killed, no-one will ever know the truth about his discommendation. Without a thought, Worf replies: "Then that is how it shall be!" Suddenly, Worf is thrown into both into the familial states of fatherhood and widower status, but he acknowledges both with a dynamically confrontational attitude. For whatever it is worth, he is Alexander's father and he did love the boy's mother. For the boy's own good, and to provide a sense of family, Worf eventually decides that Alexander should live with his parents, Sergey and Helena. Later, when Alexander is old enough to strike out on his own, he decides to walk the path of the warrior, like his father. Unlike his father, he is found to be ... wanting. Many years have passed between them at this point and Alexander has learned minimal amounts of Klingon customs and ways. Alexander, risks his own personal safety and social status to enlist and serve on board the IKS Rotarran in the war with the Dominion. Why? To simply obtain his father's attention. Alexander is mocked, assaulted and humiliated by the crew of the Rotarran, who eventually come to accept him. Worf believes they have accepted him as a fool, and criticizes him harshly but eventually he realizes that his lack of presence in the boy's life has contributed to his poor development. After seeing the great risk to his own safety and the motivation behind his course of action, Worf reconciles with Alexander and states that he will teach him what he needs to know to be a warrior, if Alexander will teach him what he needs to know to be a father.

John Kirk is a Teacher-Librarian and currently a History/English Teacher with the Toronto District School Board. But mostly, John teaches Geek. Comics, Sci-Fi (Notably Star Trek), Fantasy and Role-Playing and table-top games all make up part of John’s repertoire, There is a whole generation of nerds-in-embryo who rely on him to make sense of it all, to teach that with great power comes great responsibility, that the force will be with us always and that a towel IS the most useful thing to have in one’s possession. When John isn’t in the classroom, he can be found in his basement writing comic reviews for and features for Roddenberry Entertainment's