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  Ensign T'Vait, SD
Duty Log: Calming Events
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Ensign T'Vait
Stardate 201803.11

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Since the destruction of the Athena, I have noticed that many members of the crew are living in a state of high emotion: several are clinically depressed, many are having trouble sleeping, and yet more are showing signs of panic or anxiety disorders. While much of this is normal grieving for dead companions and anxiety about our current state and location, some is unnecessary. Many of the crew are experiencing stress over new living environments, building new relationships, and working through new routines in their lives.

In order to make this less stressful and more manageable for all involved, I would encourage a well-promoted ship-wide event for all available personnel - obviously people on duty will not be excused, but all others could be encouraged to attend. We would also need to time this well so it will not interfere in the general running of the ship; perhaps 24 hours before we make another jump between universes.

The purpose of such an event would be, first of all, to allow the crew to meet one another in an informal setting, building friendships in a natural way. Second, it will give them something to think about other than the recent tragedy and uncertain attempts to return home. While I generally believe that anticipation of pleasure is harmful to the self, in this case, it seems the lesser of two evils. Besides anticipating the event itself, once people begin to establish friendships, they will begin to look forward to meeting in the future. Third, the event itself can be educational and anxiety-lessening. I have three potential events to suggest:

1) An Algolian virtue ceremony. This ceremony is a peaceful remembering of the virtues of the dead who have contributed to our lives. A group of musicians performs ceremonial music on chimes and light drums while the audience members participate by stating the good qualities and actions performed by family, friends, and acquaintances. This seems to be a particularly good option at present, because many of the crew are disturbed by the deaths of their fellow crewmen and the [quite necessary] lack of ceremony after their deaths. This event would allow the crew to memorialize their dead without indulging in excessive emotion; the ceremony is designed to lead to pleasant memories rather than pathos.

2) A Human movie night. Many of the humans on board may find such an event a comforting reminder of home and a simpler era. I would suggest a classic movie with meaningful undertones. For instance, a very well known creator of animated movies produced a story of a feral child overcoming hardship and learning lessons from sapient animals (The Jungle Book). The lessons taught by the bear seem particularly relevant; he endorses a philosophy of searching only for the bare necessities of life. This is useful now for those who have lost personal possessions or fear remaining in a universe different from our own.

3) A Vulcan poetry reading with musical interludes. I would suggest a selection focusing on the beauty of a well-ordered soul, rather than on nature or family relationships. Such readings may both acknowledge the heroism of those who have made possible our continued existence and inspire the crew members to balance the characteristics of their own souls. There are several well-known poets that we could choose from. Poetry readings generally have relaxed seating, moderate lighting in the red range of the spectrum visible to most humanoids (similar to torchlight), and frequent breaks for meditation, quiet conversation, food, and music.

I hope this suggestion may prove helpful in dealing with current anxiety and unfamiliar surroundings. Regardless, I will continue assisting those who come to me or are referred to me.

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