Something that just really hit me over the past few days is the interesting ways in which we honor people. It’s been on my mind a bit due to the passing of Leonard Nimoy.  He was an amazing man in so many ways including being Spock, being a great director, a talented photographer, a genuinely kind and good human being, and so much more.  He was far from perfect, he struggled with his notoriety at times, he pushed the envelope with his photography and got himself in hot water with the Jewish community, etc, etc, etc.

So with his passing it’s time to infotainment his obituary and do all the retrospectives and what have you. It’s Nimoy time in all the good, bad and indifferent ways we’ll be doing that.  What’s interesting to me is to see the two different ways that people are choosing to do that. On the one hand there are things such as Canadians Spocking the $5 or the Star Trek online game designers setting up a permanent memorial that anyone and everyone in game can visit.  Artists are making amazing art to commemorate him, media is talking about his life in great detail, everything he’s ever done video wise is hitting YouTube, etc.  It’s all about him and our thankfulness for who he was and what he added to this world.  Then there’s the other hand which is everyone saying how much he meant to them, how they met him, found out about him, saw him for the first time, have all these things going on in their lives because of him and etc.

Evidence that he was impactful in a positive way is great and for those who are grieving it’s great to be able to communicate that and connect, but there is a point where the stories become about the individuals telling them and not about the man at all.  The point is that we don’t just do this around famous people, we do it all the time.  Most of us have experienced this at one point or another.  A story start out sounding like it’s about honoring or recognizing someone, but turns quickly into the ongoing saga of a life that is happening to the storyteller.  As Smith would say “Me…Me…Me.” , “Me too!”  It’s something to look for both when we’re talking about something/someone or when we’re listening to someone else.  Is the story about the declared subject or is the declared subject just a means for the storyteller to talk about themselves?  Honoring someone can include how they affected us, how we are connected to them or how they inspire us, etc, but that shouldn’t be the focus of the story or it’s no longer about them, it’s about us.