Wednesday, March 04, 2015

9 lessons Leonard Nimoy left us



Leonard Nimoy at the 2011 Phoenix Comicon in Phoenix, Arizona.
Photo by Gage Skidmore.
As Mr. Spock started his journey out of this earthly life last Friday (dying in his home at 83), what better way to honour him than learning one or two things from his life. 

Given that here in Smartmatic we are a varied ecosystem of geeks, cinephiles and TV series addicts -many of whom are ‘Star Trek’ worshippers or Trekkers - it will be an exciting task to attempt to “live long and prosper” with Nimoy’s assistance.

1. Believe in your art. Leonard Nimoy was an active supporter of the arts, he was not only an actor, but also a director, a poet, a writer, a photographer as well as a musician. “His poetry was voluminous, and he published books of his photography,” stated the New York Times obituary. 

2. Be curious, brave and open about what surrounds you. Through his photography, published poems and his two autobiographies (“I am not Spock” and “I am Spock”), Nimoy showed his curiosity for challenging himself and the world around him with freedom and courage.

3. Be creative and share your ideas. Nimoy came up himself with the famous split-fingered vulcan salute for the Spock’s character. He recreated a Jewish gesture from a blessing in his childhood memories and shared it with the Star Trek director and crew. The rest is just history and LLAP!

4. Don’t be afraid to try as many roles in life as you can. Literally and metaphorically. In his professional and personal life, many roles filled Nimoy’s list. Besides all the mentioned above, he also worked as a soda jerk, movie usher and cab driver while studying acting and served in the Army for two years. He was also a husband, father, grandpa and beloved friend

5. Never feel too old to try new things. Nimoy returned to college in his 40s to earn a master’s degree in Spanish from Antioch University in Austin. ‘Just because.’

6. Do not do things to get rewarded. Even if as an actor, he received four Emmy award nominations (3 for his character Spock), he never won. Except, of course, the respect and love of devoted fans. Nonetheless, he kept on working and developing his craft.

7.  Keep on rediscovering and learning who you are. Nimoy maintained an evolving –sometimes complex- relationship with his Jewish heritage and culture. He became an activist, wrote and gave talks about it; he made photographic essays on the subject and he produced and starred a television movie on the story of the Holocaust deniers.

8.  Inspire others to discover new things. According to the NASA and the Space Foundation Nimoy created a positive role model that inspired untold numbers of viewers to learn more about the universe. In 2010, he was the recipient of the Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award for such accomplishment. 

9. Learn from your life and be considerate. Nimoy was not afraid to share some of his views on life and spirituality. “To me, spirituality means living a decent life, treating people decently, caring about what happens to somebody besides yourself, being aware that you’re not alone on this planet, and not everything is about you. It just means living a full life as a considerate human being,” commented the actor in an interview in 2010. His last tweet from @TheRealNimoy read: “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.”

Mr. Nimoy’s death was caused by an end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which he attributed it to years of smoking, even if he had given it up three decades earlier. However, as his friends and family have expressed: he did live long and prosper, so now the journey across the stars is all ours.

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