Leonard Nimoy of Mr. Spock fame recently passed away and over the intervening days, countless tributes flooded social media channels, including my own tribute. I grew up a fan of science fiction, and I especially loved Star Trek. Despite the cheap sets and prehistoric visual effects of the original series, I have been and always shall be a Trekkie.
In my teenage years, I related most with Mr. Spock, the half-human, half-vulcan first officer of the Enterprise. Many (most?) admired his logic and his loyalty to his crewmates. I identified with something deeper in Mr. Spock, though, an element boiling just beneath the surface and beautify brought to life by Leonard Nimoy.
Spock was a product of two worlds, one human, the other Vulcan, and he didn’t quite fit in with either. As an adult, many humans pointed to Spock as a green-blooded, pointy-eared freak. While growing up, Vulcan youth would constantly ridicule and harass half-human Spock to provoke a “human” emotional response.
Through it all, I witnessed Spock’s internal struggle that boiled just beneath his calm, rational demeanor—feelings, rage, love, his struggle with his own identity. I witnessed his often strained and distant relationship with his father, Sarek. And through it all, I related.
I still relate
I relate to Mr. Spock’s simmering emotions, the subtle awkward sense of not quite belonging at times. I relate to the internal war he fought every day. What I admired and wish I could emulate to this day is the calm dignified way Mr. Spock carried his burden.
LLAP, Mr. Nimoy. You have been and always shall be my friend.