Forty-six years ago tonight, my dad and I sat in front of the big ol' black-and-white console TV. If you're old enough, you know the one: not only did you have to GET UP to change the channel, you had to use the pliers because the knob had long since disappeared.
I took one look at Gene Roddenberry's vision of the future and never looked back. A future where intolerance and selfishness had been replaced by acceptance and cooperation appealed to a kid who was bullied daily and was part of a family that was peppered with racists.
1966: I lived in the suburbs. It would still be six years before I actually met a brown-skinned person... in person. But the respect that was shown to Uhura and Sulu and Dr. M'Benga by their crewmates helped a precocious little mutant (yours truly) see that it was my closed-minded relatives who were the ignorant ones. I was thus spared an indoctrination to a lifetime mindset of hate.
The concept of IDIC may have been a fictional construct at first, but it has become a philosophy which I have tried to live by, and has shown me more truth than any of the various religions I have studied and/or practiced. By keeping my heart and mind open to different cultures, I've had experiences with food, travel, friendship, and love that I would have otherwise missed, but will now cherish for all of my days.
So, to everyone who has EVER had anything to do with The Great Bird of the Galaxy and his legacy...
Qapla'! Peace and long life. Thank you. I love you. And happy anniversary.