Interlude: The Tensions of Kira Nerys

Kira Nerys struggles with tensions that make her very real and relatable to me.  What I find fantastic about how she’s written and acted is that she constantly exists in tension between opposing ideologies, and she has the capacity to let both coexist within her.  In Seasons 1 and 2, she struggles with being both a violent resistance fighter and being a peaceful advocate.  She never ultimately lays down her resistance fighter past because strength of that sort is needed in other parts of her life.  She learned a strength and perseverance in the Resistance that benefits her.  In another tension, she is secular in her work and with friends, yet moves and acts with a deep sense of spiritual guidance.  She doesn’t draw a line between the two worlds.  She relies on the wisdom from her spiritual practice to guide her to act for the benefit of her friends and crew.  She is also both Bajoran and Starfleet, particularly near the end of the series.  She has to navigate the requirements of Starfleet (particularly when interacting with Sisko) while ensuring her world heals from the atrocities done to it.  She learns diplomacy and has a vision for the greater good of society, a far cry from the fiery woman in Season 1.

Tribalism can be immensely destructive to our societies.  Our culture currently demands people choose a single position amongst two dichotomous, opposing positions.  Red vs Blue State.  Amnesty or a great, great wall.  Atheist vs Theist.  Saved or not saved.  Climate change or no climate change.  Very few of us are versed in the tradition of holding opposing ideologies within us simultaneously and trying to chart a path honoring the truths of both.  We are fooled into this absurd notion that every dichotomy has right side and a wrong side.  There is a beautiful humility in realizing that one’s enemy is a sister in the same struggle.  It isn’t long after this that one realizes the struggle isn’t with our flesh and blood brothers, but with bigger forces that cause unhappiness and pain in our lives.

These tensions Kira holds make her a complex and intriguing character to me.  She isn’t confident in who she is, and she shows her uncertainty to the audience.  She fearlessly engages her past and present, always processing and changing who she is.  She is both guided by her spiritual practice and chooses her path to the best of her ability.  She blends humility and confidence into her life.  I have come to really respect these tensions during this blogging project, and I didn’t really appreciate these nuances of her character before.


~ by Joshua Black on May 20, 2017.

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