The most obvious candidate for #KindnessIsALiteracy: Elnor
Perhaps there is an implicit bias in casting Elnor in the #KindnessIsALiteracy series due to seeing him as a child, a refugee, under the care of protective warrior nuns who under normal circumstances do not include males in their tribe. However, Elnor’s innocence and grace of character that he derived from a matriarchal environment paired with his own determined front to position himself at the center of the greatest need resolutely necessitates that he be included in this series.
When he learns Picard is dying in “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1,” (2020) but he must stay with the XBs because Picard believes their need is greater than his, Elnor first demands that he be present with Picard fearing he will never see him again. This moment of absolute candor of emotions and the emotive resentment of being left behind demonstrates his desire to be near his responsibilities. He had taken responsibility for Picard and his quest. Additionally, it demonstrates the often forgotten kindness of being there for someone’s passing moment. This is an essential kindness that too many learn the hard way is something that once rejected, is never forgotten. Those who do not visit their dying family often will regret it for the rest of their lives. Picard is indeed family for Elnor and it is essential for him that he be there, ever present, in his final moments.
However, Elnor’s kindness is so well developed that it is detached from ego and he understands his responsibilities remain, uninterrupted, and he must stay with Seven of Nine. Picard assures him that his heart will remain still true to his cause with the simple words, “I am very proud of you.”
Elnor could easily lead his own Star Trek program. He succeeds in manifesting the best of Star Trek without being Starfleet. It, of course, is telling of the state of Federation affairs that Picard looks outside of Starfleet for his strong arm. Yes, Starfleet is not completely dismissed as former officers Raffi Musiker and Chris Rios are integrated into the mission party. However, that Seven of Nine, Agnes Jurati, and Elnor are equally contributing to the mission dialogue instills a sense of welcoming the outsider; a position that Star Trek had always claimed to possess as integral to Starfleet values.
This space will not make room and state that Elnor’s gullibility contributes to his sense of kindness because that would be unjust and contort his respectability into a prop vessel. No one would claim his abilities as a warrior reflects gullibility on the part of determining where the source of danger is. His dedication to candor is presented as a weakness of street smarts, but such skill sets are overrated and perfunctory. How much of his candor is crafted into his kindness? Certainly, it is a heavy element, though it is the source of the weight of his integrity. His ability to dissolve a situation to its source truthhood and approach it with honesty and straightforwardness is the central armband of his integrated abilities to dissolve malice and dishonesty. With that comes great kindness.
Just as his childhood was displaced by outside events greater than his people could withstand, so, too, was his reunion with Picard an honest observation of how people connect and form bonds that are beyond the casual search for meaning and personal preferences normalcy seems to allude to. Normalcy is made to be a reflection of indifference with Elnor. In that is honesty. In that is kindness literacy. Elnor manifests the mappings of kindness just as gracefully as he wields his sword; an obvious physical metaphor for his skill with honesty and innocence. It is a dialectic metaphor as it reverses the violence of combat and demonstrates an esteem of cratered ability to magnify a heart resolute in openness and dictated by compassion.