The Prime Directive

Here’s Mine. What’s Yours?

April 26, 2022

In the original Star Trek TV series, one of the things we learn about is ‘The Prime Directive.’ Rather than try to explain it, I turn to the Infallible Wikipedia which provides this summary:

“In the fictional universe of Star Trek, the Prime Directive (also known as ‘Starfleet General Order 1’, ‘General Order 1’, and the ‘non-interference directive’) is a guiding principle of Starfleet that prohibits its members from interfering with the natural development of alien civilizations. The Prime Directive protects unprepared civilizations from the dangerous tendency of well-intentioned starship crews to introduce advanced technology, knowledge, and values before they are ready. Since its introduction in the first season of the original Star Trek series, the Prime Directive has been a key plot element of many episodes of the various Star Trek series and served as a recurring moral question over how best to establish diplomatic relations with new alien worlds.”

I have written about Star Trek on my blog before:

 This post is not about Star Trek, but rather the concept of a Prime Directive.

While our species has not, to the best of our collective knowledge, made contact with or interfered with the development of alien civilizations, I do think that we would do well to adopt a prime directive for life.

We all know that we should eat less, exercise more, not smoke, not drink to excess, and – well – do a whole bunch of other things to get or stay healthy. Easier said than done.

The Prime Directive which I have started touting to any who will pay attention is this:

Stay Upright

You would think that this would be relatively easy to achieve but, alas, it is not. According to the CDC, one in four adults over the age of 65 fall each year. While today’s Tuesday Newsday is a bit of a Public Service Announcement, getting into all the statistics is not how I wish to use this space. But you can certainly check out the CDC link below for additional information.

Instead, I have adopted a two pronged approach to my personal Prime Directive.

  1. Whenever I get up and am about to move about, I stop and look at my surroundings. The first thing I do is check the floor for possible items which might cause a fall: a pair of shoes, a blanket which has slipped to the floor, items which have been set down but don’t usually live in that spot.
  2. I hold on to rails and any other handles which are provided since I assume they are there for a reason and then I proceed only after my visual evaluation indicates its safe.

There is a reason for the Prime Directive. Perhaps the first time I recognized the need for a more measured approach to walking was in the spring of 2005. I was at a friend’s house where we were having an event for the Rainbow Girls. I had headed downstairs but failed to turn on a light OR look at the way the steps were laid out. There was one additional step separate from the others and I missed it.

That fall resulted in a badly sprained ankle and a boot cast which I wore for nearly 6 weeks. Chastened, I vowed to do better. And I did until one day in probably 2014 or so when, in a rush, I strode into our spare bedroom, headed for the closet to get wrapping paper. I did not notice that the bedspread had slipped off the bed. (We had houseguests either a night or two before and I had not yet dealt with the bed). Next thing I knew, my right foot was wrapped up in the bedspread and I landed on both knees – the left one taking the brunt of the fall. Which was a good thing since my head ended up inches away from the solid oak of a nightstand.

While that fall did not end up with a doctor visit, my knees hurt for quite a few weeks.

Which brings me to my most recent violation of the Prime Directive. I can take comfort that it’s been at least eight years since I’ve had a violation.

The hubby and I were headed back from an overnight to Kelso, Washington, and stopped to find a Geocache* at a rest area. We were out looking for it near a copse of trees and the grass was quite long. I noticed a huge ant hill with a gazillion ants and was fascinated by this.

In the meantime, the hubby had gone on and was off behind the copse of trees. I turned to go find him when I must have stepped on a branch, hidden in the grass. From what I can recall, when I stepped on the forward part of it with my right foot, the back part popped up and the other end went up into the hem of my jeans on the left leg.

I was doomed as the branch, as though it had a life of its own, twisted the pants leg and the next thing I knew I was on the ground. Fortunately all that grass provided a fairly soft landing and I walked away with a bit of a scraped knee, only one ant on me, and a couple days of soreness.

Guess I need to add ‘be aware of and remove all branches which might attack me’ to my Prime Directive.

*Geocaching is a sport which will be featured next Tuesday, on May 3rd,when we mark the 22nd anniversary of its start.

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