‘Doctor Who’ and life lessons

Salas in solace

Allons-y! I’ll admit that my grasp of the French language does not extend all that much farther than that “allons-y” means “let’s go,” but I still take pride in knowing that one phrase (or word — I really do not know French). It’s not because it showcases my extreme proficiency in learning arbitrary phrases in other languages — though I will say that I am most excellent at that — but because of how I learned this particular one.

David Tennant taught me “allons-y.” More significantly, the Doctor taught me. Through his adventures, his companions and his constant running, the Doctor has actually taught me quite a lot. Just add that to the long list of reasons “Doctor Who” is one of my favorite shows. Other reasons include, but are certainly not limited to: aliens, awesome characters and some truly amazing British accents.

“Doctor Who” is about a several-centuries-old alien called the Doctor from the planet Gallifrey. He travels all of time and space in a blue police telephone box called the TARDIS, accompanied by all sorts of people, meeting all sorts of aliens. It sounds kind of ridiculous, and it certainly is. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Suffice to say, I’m a Whovian. While I am not a fan of the word (sounds too much like the Whos from Whoville), I do appreciate the idea behind it: that a collective group of people love one thing so much that they need a single, unifying term to adequately express their adoration. It’s a silly word, but the Doctor is silly, so I’d like to think the term is true to the show.

Which broaches the question: Why do I ardently follow and support “Doctor Who” when it all sounds so childish? The show has spanned generations and personalities, all in a small blue box, and that seems a bit magical to me. Also, it has somehow managed to teach me, even when I believed I was past the didactic kids’ shows.

I now know that every disastrous thing that happens is inevitably the cause of aliens. I know to poke everything with a stick, as that’s how most of the Doctor’s adventures start. And I know that everyone, no matter how repulsive of an alien he or she (or it) may be, deserves a second chance.

If the Doctor can forgive the repulsive Racnoss Queen, who was trying to destroy the world on Christmas Eve, then who am I to hold a grudge against someone taking a little bit too long in line at Peet’s? While the crime of indecisive coffee ordering may be heavy, I know that planning to destroy the human race ranks slightly above that, and, as such, I can bring myself to feel compassion for those who cannot choose between a warm or cold coffee.

All you need is love, friends are the real treasure and you can find beauty anywhere: just a few of the ridiculously clichéd messages that the Doctor and his companions manage to make interesting episode after episode. While all of these life lessons seem really obvious, sometimes it helps to be reminded.

Because as we grow up, we move away from those shows that taught us that sharing is caring and to respect our peers. We become engrossed in lives in which grades become our motivating factor and somehow forget to stop and smell the roses, or, in the case of Berkeley, the dozens of restaurants just waiting to be explored.

That’s just another one of the silly little lessons that isn’t quite that silly when you think about it. And if growing up means losing those cheesy messages and falling into a life of 9-to-5 stupor, then I see nothing wrong with not becoming a grown-up by society’s standards. Because grown-ups move through life quickly, driving past museums and parks, forgetting the world for their own self-centric versions of it.

Now, I wouldn’t say “grown-up” in this case is synonymous with “adult.” In fact, I would say I know a lot of adults who have never grown up. And that’s how I plan to enter my adulthood: maintaining every last bit of my ludicrous ideals and kidlike naivety about life. I want to continue to see the best in people and treat others the way I want to be treated — basically, live my life with the same ideas I had as a kid, only with my years of experience to back them up. Much like how the Doctor has lived hundreds of years but still manages to find joy in a remote-controlled plane.

While it’s a bit childish of me, I will continue to watch shows like “Doctor Who” and take them completely and utterly too seriously. I would rather see the world through a child’s eyes, with all of the wonder and amazement that entails.

So allons-y! Let’s go — to other planets, to the farthest reaches of the galaxy or just on an adventure. Because if there is only one thing that “Doctor Who” taught me, it’s that there’s an incredible amount to everything. You just have to go out there and find it for yourself.