Just Live the Dream
I have had many months to try and piece together words to describe the philosophy on which IFT is based.
Over the past few months, I have learned that the IFT philosophy is in some ways a feeling or belief. One thing is for certain, it is not something that can be expressed in a few words.
In the early years of IFT, the philosophy was spread through one to one dialogue between IFT members, chapter commanders, and myself. IFTToday’s larger IFT, with its necessary levels of management, has shown that the philosophy is not as well known as it once was. This is evident in the misunderstandings and miscues that we see occurring throughout the fleet from time to time. Thankfully, through the hard work of all members, word of the IFT philosophy has been spread and learned as we all work together to make IFT what it was designed to be: The Ultimate STAR TREK Fan organization.
After sitting back and taking a realistic view of the problems faced by our organization, everything centered around one problem…and one solution. The problems had occurred because the parties involved in it were not acquainted with the philosophy. It seems, in a very basic sense, that the philosophy can cure all. Upon talking with people in the corporate and philosophical realms, that is a sign of a very sound philosophy.
If problems can continually be solved easily by taking the philosophy of an organization to heart., the organization is built on a strong foundation and can and should continue to thrive for many years (and centuries) to come…providing the philosophy is one that can be understood and practiced by the members of that organization.
The perfect philosophy is one that is “felt”. That means that the members should “feel” the philosophy without consciously having to think about it when decisions need to be made and actions taken.
With these things in mind, I have set out on a quest to introduce the philosophy on which IFT has been built, the philosophy instilled since our pre-founding days in 1983, through the days of record-setting growth in the mid-80’s, and into the future.
Many people have heard me say that the TREK universe changed greatly since the death of Gene Roddenberry. During his life, there seemed to be “unwritten rules of conduct” for TREK fans all over the world. Since his death, though, it seems that many TREK fans are living by a “ME, ME, ME” ideal, an ideal far removed from what Mr. Roddenberry sought out to instill in his work.
The putting of the IFT philosophy into words will help IFT members understand what it means to be a team, and what it truly means to be what (for lack of a better term) I call a Roddenberry-esqe TREK fan.
WE ARE ONE. Even this part of the philosophy can be broken down into finer points, but its a place to start. In IFT, every member is of equal importance. Simply put, we are all equal in IFT. Yes, we all have our assigned duties within the organization, but that doesn’t mean that the member who just joined today is of less worth than, well, me. Everyone has the potential to make a fantastic positive leap for IFT, humankind, the world and the future.
Gene Roddenberry believed that each and every person is important; that everyone has a special “spark” within them that when cultivated and coordinated with the sparks and talents of others, can greatly benefit mankind, the planet, and the future. That firm belief that everyone has unlimited potential is the cornerstone of the IFT.
This goes hand in hand with the I.D.I.C. philosophy that Gene instilled as a Vulcan trait. In the real world, it is true that everyone is different, and it is those differences that make us special. And, it is those differences that make meshing our sparks even more beneficial to us all.
IFT has offices and chapters placed all around the world. We must continually remember that those chapters are not separate, but that they are local manifestations of the whole. IFT is one unified team of TREK fans committed to making Gene Roddenberry’s dream of the future someday come true.
IFT is one unified team working together for the benefit of all. Together we are IFT.