“900 Years of time and space and I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.” As one of my all-time favorite quotes from The Doctor, it made me think of all the instilled messages that one can pick up from their favorite shows. Doctor Who happens to be an ideal, and I’m not just advocating for it because of my ongoing border-line obsession, but because of what you can take away from it. In honor of the show, and upcoming anniversary special, I’ve compiled 12 of my favorite cross-over into real life lessons for review. Why 12? Because I said so…and couldn’t chose.
1. “900 Years of time and space and I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.”
Let’s start with this one. This is the single most validating belief that no matter what you may think of yourself, of your life, and what you’re doing, you are still important. Each day we meet with tons of people who have forgotten this. And what is worse, we forget, society forgets, and we end up blaming others and targeting individuals and groups. If instead, at every one of those moments we are reminded that they too are important, we may learn to treat each other with the respect we need.
2. “When you’re a kid, they tell you it’s all… Grow up, get a job, get married, get a house, have a kid and that’s it. But the truth is the world is so much stranger than that. It’s so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better.”
We sometimes forget how very amazing it is just being here. Caught up in what we think we need to be doing, and the path we have to take, it is so easy to forget that there is no right answer. The very probability that our existence occurred, and we can enjoy everything that happens, just because it is purely unique.
3. “There’s a lot of things you need to get across this universe. Warp drive…wormhole refractors…You know the thing you need most of all? You need a hand to hold.”
I’ve always been a big fan of this quote because it is true; we need a lot of things in this life. You can argue that there are things you physically need to survive, but that is surviving. All we really need, is to love and be loved. It is the single most important element of human functioning.
4. “I am and always will be the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes and the dreamer of improbable dreams.”
There is a place and a reason we dream in the way we do. Some of us never reach those goals, some feel as though they have failed. The success of it isn’t important, what is important is to keep dreaming. It shapes the way we view the world, it makes us better human beings to have some vision, even if it may never happen.
5. “We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?”
Oooooh…this one has always been difficult for me. It’s hard remembering that in the end all we have is the memories we leave with others. What story will people tell of you when you die? Everything that we think is important, that new car, high paying job, will that make people remember, or is it something else?
6. “Letting it get to you. You know what that’s called? Being alive. Best thing there is. Being alive right now is all that counts.”
To my fellow social workers, you know who you are. Don’t fret when things become too much. Stop feeling like you’re doing something wrong when in reality the very fact that we care and that things hurt, or don’t work out means that we are living and thriving. Everything in the past and everything to come are only side notes to right here and now. It is the only thing we have.
7. “You don’t just give up. You don’t just let things happen. You make a stand! You say no! You have the guts to do what’s right, even when everyone else just runs away.”
We all must know what we stand for, and when it is time to make that stand. It isn’t enough to have good intentions if you aren’t willing to intervene. We could do more. As I recently heard from a wise fortune cookie, “no one snowflake believes it to be responsible for an avalanche.” It’s ok to be afraid; it isn’t ok to let injustice pass.
8. “There’s no point being grown-up if you can’t be childish sometimes.”
Go on, have fun. One of my pet peeves is the belief that because we reach a certain age we are expected to stop enjoying silliness. I’m a nut, and I love weirdness, craziness, and acting in ways that should be long forgotten. We are forced to grow older, but there is no reason that the fun stops. I’ve been fortunate enough to be told by a few of my friends, some of them younger than me, that I keep them young. It is a lesson I learned well from my mom, who despite being a new Medicare recipient, still won’t hesitate to challenge me to a cart race in IKEA. We will always have a choice. Live and grow, or live, grow and play.
9. “Demons run when a good man goes to war”
This ties into #7 a bit, the full poem is a bit longer, but the quote discusses the fact that even good men must at time, “go to war” for a cause. It is when good men do, that justice is won, or “demons run.” The truth is, once you bring a good man so far as to have to wage war, you have unleashed a force that is not willing to fail.
10. “As we learn about each other we learn about ourselves”
No matter what our differences are, we are all still a part of humanity. The minuscule differences in religion, race, geography, etc. are really nothing, because when we start moving past that, into who we are as a person, you know that we’re not so different. We all love, feel pain, want a good life, and are constantly growing. We are so much more than who we are, we are one. Knowing another person is insight to our own lives.
11. “A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting”
Again, with your life travels, we worry and fret for not being on target. “By 30 I want to have ____.” Those who have lived the most interesting lives tend to attribute that to the detours. Every wonderful story I have, every anecdote and life lesson comes from the times when things didn’t go quite according to plan. Bask in the awkward, immerse yourself in the unknown and never ever be afraid of going off course.
French for “let’s go,” let’s end with the simplest one; jump into life.
So what are we waiting for? Allons-y!
By: Courtney Kidd, LMSW
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