WHEN IN DOUBT, CALL THE DOCTOR. I mean, when in doubt, see Rule #1. If you don’t hear the distinct sound of the Tardis flying your way, here’s what to do in life, or of who and what character to ask “what would so-and-so do?” in that internal hierarchy-building way we’re all accustomed to ask and act.
Seriously, in life we face a hundred decisions a day from what to feed the kids to whether or not we should have that third beer.
Here is a short list of what to do in those times of peril and who can help guide us through each shadowy valley.
Act like Han Solo. Or Indiana Jones. Rough, rugged, skeptical, pirate-like Han was always my go-to growing up, rather than the bratty, whiny, privileged-with-Jedi-powers-he-somehow-didn’t-figure-out-until-he-was-much-older towhead gringo Luke Skywalker. Han murders another scoundrel, outruns a mafia boss, helps the good guys (acting as the deus ex machina), stays loyal to his co-pilot and best friend (without ever betraying him, as pirates do), suffers the torture of being frozen alive, and gets the girl (the only girl in an entire universe, it seems). Then he goes on to become Indian Jones, a somewhat morally pure professor whose line “this belongs in a museum” is simply crawling with good intentions for stolen, privatized goods that an aboriginal culture may or may not have been worshipping at the time. It’s also a great guiding directive for how to think about material things. Plus he outsmarts millennia of gold-seekers as to what cup Christ would have sipped from, just to save his dad. Be either of those guys.
Act like Spock. In the Aristotelian rhetorical triangle of life, we all need to appeal to Logic a bit more, without committing the fallacy of only appealing to logic a little more. In that logic, good luck finding the logic in only ascribing to Logic. That’s why we have the Kirks of the world, but I never liked Kirk, so I’m going with a modified Spock. And Spock was modified because he was half-human and half-Vulcan. He was the go-to adviser, and always knew the right answer. Do you always know the right answer? If not, just channel Spock through a hands-free mind-meld, and you’ll be all right.
YESSSSSSSSSS PICARD. When was the last time you took on an Ultra-God AND a race of cyborg killers? AND it was on your very first mission, nonetheless? You think life is hard? What, you’ve got needy kids and you’re tired? Your job is hard and days are long? Try being Picard. Seriously, try it. Or assume what it’s like, call upon his center-bald spirit, make that hot Earl Grey, and decide. Make it so.
Remember that all these characters were real people and had stable, steady lives of being married and spent a good time raising multiple children in the real world.
I worked tirelessly on the Venn Diagram version of this here.