I know what you’re thinking. “Weren’t they the bad guys?” Often, but not always. And the story told in Next Generation of why they became allies is probably one of the best stories in my opinion. It does this by illustrating what is central to the Klingon philosophy. Honor.
Without spoiling it, the short version is that they do something, while at war with the Klingons that is so estimable and honorable that the Klingons reevaluate their opinion of the humans, which ultimately leads to peace and eventually to them becoming allies.
This is something that we are missing now in this country. We no longer care about honor as a society. Just look at all the people who are elevated and revered. Our politicians are horribly dishonest. The corporations are nothing but greedy. Celebrities are disgustingly depraved. Supposed moral leaders are too compromising. And teachers…Well, I think we all know how much of a joke our education system is now.
And this all stems from our lack of honor in our society. Things that would have been completely unacceptable in the past are now, well maybe not exactly acceptable but we certainly tend to look the other way more. I can’t help thinking that it’s because we’ve gone overboard on the negatives of certain traits like honor and pride.
We all know that too much pride is a bad thing. But that shouldn’t mean that we should just throw it under the bus like we have. Pride can be a positive thing. If you take pride in your work, for example, that means you put your best into it. That’s good for everyone and should be praised.
The same thing goes for honor. We look at the start of the country, where people would have duels of honor and say “well that’s stupid”. We conclude that it was because people cared about honor too much and rightly so. But we’ve gone too far. We’ve decided that any idea of honor is something that should be shunned.
We’ve forgotten that with the idea of honor comes a lot of positive traits. When you care about bringing dishonor to yourself and those you represent you start caring about integrity, honesty, self-respect, fairness, and ethics. We could certainly use more of these triats. So maybe we should take another look at the Klingons and see what we could learn from them.