I had so much fun at a local San Diego bookstore, “Mysterious Galaxy” on Saturday. They specialize in science fiction, fantasy and youth titles and support local authors from all genres. Fifteen of us were given a few minutes each to introduce our titles to the large audience. I enjoyed hearing the passion and creativity of the many varied voices in literature.
I recently saw on Amazon that a reader of my book said he had been to one of my talks at a library and found my presentation, “witty and engaging”. That was nice to read as it is my goal to make contact with the audience in a way that they can easily relate to. In fact I enjoy changing up my talks and have never presented the exact same material twice. For “Mysterious Galaxy” I wanted to use some science fiction references for examples of communication problems, as I guessed that the readers could relate to them.
I thought of a few typical situations where skillful communicating could be important, such as when dealing with an angry co-worker, or responding to a cold-hearted roommate. For the co-worker, I used a Klingon, as they are a Star Trek species that rises
to anger easily. For the roommate, I used a Vulcan as they are a logical yet unemotional species.
One of my favorite moments from a Star Trek episode reveals a touching moment of communicating both support and sorrow. A mother who was the Chief Medical Officer on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” was sad because her son, Wesley, was leaving home to wend his way as an adult. He was joining an expedition that would take him into different realities. To express both her sadness yet support, Dr. Crusher tells her son, “Here, don’t forget to take a sweater, as it may be cold on those other planes of existence.”
I just love that line! I am not as big a sci-fi nerd as some people, but I do enjoy many of the stories. I notice that no matter how big the universe gets, and how advanced the technology, writers are still bound by the limits of the hard-wired brains of humans. That hard-wiring makes us both fight and bond for survival. In many stories even “advanced” species, who say they are peace-loving, end up trying to dominate other species. All beings in the universe also have a strong need for being heard, understood and cared for. Expressing yourself clearly, whether in conflict or in love is the goal of good communication! You may need to negotiate with diplomacy to save your ship from an enemy, or wish to reach out and hand a sweater to your son, as a gesture of love, when you have the chance. Because he may disappear in a warp bubble for eternity. You don’t know. Good Communication can help you “Live Long and Prosper”.