“There. Are. Four. Lights.”

From: Star Trek: The Next Generation

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Captain Jean-Luc Picard

The story behind the quote: This week, we have another quote from Star Trek: The Next Generation. And, once again, it comes from the Captain of the USS Enterprise-D, Jean-Luc Picard. This week’s quote comes from the second episode of the two-parter, Chain of Command. The episode is actually pays homage to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

The episode has Picard (played by Patrick Stewart) captured by the Cardassians. The leader of the group, Gul Mandred, tortures Picard in an attempt to break him so he will reveal the plans for the planet Minos Korva. One of the tactics is to show Picard four lights and force him to say there are five instead. If he does, Gul Mandred will stop the torturing.

By the end of the episode, despite not being able to break Picard and the Captain about to be released into Federation custody, Gul Mandred tries one more attempt to break Picard’s spirit by lying to him and saying Minos Korva has been captured and the Enterprise has been destroyed so there is nothing to betray anymore. He asks Picard how many lights. But just before Picard answers, the other Cardassians come to take Picard. This is when Picard says the quote one more time, with total defiance that he was not broken.

Geek wisdom:  Despite all the hardships you endure, you have to stay true to what you know is the truth. Don’t let other people sway you to think otherwise, especially when they are wrong but won’t admit that they are.

“The only person you’re truly competing against, Wesley, is yourself.”

From: Star Trek: The Next Generation

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Captain Jean-Luc Picard

The story behind the quote: This week’s quote comes from the Captain of the NCC-1701-D, AKA the Enterprise, Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Unlike his predecessor, who had a habit of charging in full force into trouble, Picard (played by Patrick Stewart) is a more calm and strategic thinking, preferring to take a more logical and level-headed manner to resolve issues.

The quote comes from the closing moments of the Season 1 episode entitled “Coming of Age.” One of the stories in the episode deals with Wesley Crusher taking the entrance exam for Starfleet Academy. He does not get in but not for lack of trying. Wesley is disappointed with himself and apologizes to Picard for letting him and the entire crew of the Enterprise down. Picard tries to comfort the boy by asking him if he tried his best. This is when he delivers the quote to encourage him.

Geek wisdom:  People tend to take too much stock in how people think of them or how they stack up against each other. We try to compare ourselves with others and then ask ourselves how to outdo what they did. In actuality, the best way to do better in life tomorrow is to try to outdo what we are today.