The Story of a Vietnam War Veteran: The Stockdale Paradox

Started by lauermar, February 08, 2021, 11:35:17 AM

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lauermar

When the article below arrived to my email inbox, the subject line read, "Got faith? It will take more than that." This was an important lesson for me to learn post-election with the reality of the present administration.

The Story of a Vietnam War Veteran: The Stockdale Paradox  EPOCH TIMES

September 9, 1965, was a life-changing day for James Stockdale. It was the day that his Douglas A-4 Skyhawk was shot out of the sky, forcing him to eject to save his own life.

The North Vietnamese captured the American admiral that day.  But little did they know then that they would take in a very, very troublesome prisoner.

They detained Stockdale at the H?a Lò Prison, the infamous "Hanoi Hilton." He soon established communications among the American prisoners of war, and a code of rules to organize the prisoners and boost their morale.

When the abuse of American POWs reached a climax in 1969, Stockdale was selected by his captors as a trophy for their propaganda. Knowing that he wouldn't be paraded if he was disfigured, he cut his own scalp with a razor and then beat his own face with a wooden stool, foiling his captors' plans.

After Stockdale found out that several POWs had been tortured to death, he slit his own wrists to show that he would rather die than capitulate to his captors. From that night on, the practice of torturing American POWs stopped in the facility.

Stockdale finally returned home to the United States in 1973 after seven-and-a-half years in prison. In 1976, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism.

Once, Stockdale had invited Jim Collins, a management scholar, out to lunch. Collins asked Stockdale about how he persevered while in Vietnam.

"I never lost faith in the end of the story," replied Stockdale. "I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade."

Collins then asked about the kinds of people who didn't make it out of the Hanoi Hilton.

"The optimists," came the response. And then Stockdale explained. 

"Oh, they were the ones who said, 'We're going to be out by Christmas.' And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they'd say, 'We're going to be out by Easter.' And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart."

After a moment of silence, Stockdale finished his thought.

"This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."

Collins would later codify this into his coaching regime as the "Stockdale paradox" to help business leaders who were facing challenges—which is sound reasoning. After all, if this thinking can help a soldier survive POW camp, there are very few things it can't help with.
"I am not a pessimist. I am not an optimist. I am a realist." Father Malachi Martin (1921-1999)

Jacob

I would have voted for Perot just to see Stockdale as VP.
"Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time."
--Neal Stephenson

drummerboy

"My hope is the Father, my refuge is the Son, my protection is the Holy Spirit.  Holy Trinity, glory to You." 
"All my hope I place in you, O Mother of God; guard me under your protection."

diaduit

Quote from: drummerboy on February 11, 2021, 10:30:23 AM
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3714404/characters/nm0001749 


The Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey has the best one liners.

She has fantastic humour
In response to Mathew talking about coming down at the weekend

'weekend ?? what is that??


red solo cup

"We could go to America to find a husband"
Cousin Violet " We aren't desperate"
non impediti ratione cogitationis

drummerboy

Or stating Cousin Isobel has the right to her opinion but not to win an argument, regarding the hospital acquisition.
"My hope is the Father, my refuge is the Son, my protection is the Holy Spirit.  Holy Trinity, glory to You." 
"All my hope I place in you, O Mother of God; guard me under your protection."

GiftOfGod

#6
I have never heard of the Stockdale Paradox before now and it makes total sense. I have heard of Catholics in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s completely despondent at the Vatican II changes. I'm sure that they thought that God would strike down Paul VI and replace him with a Catholic Pope who would immediately reverse the changes. That didn't happen and devout people fell away from the faith.


Quote from: Jacob on February 08, 2021, 06:46:37 PM
I would have voted for Perot just to see Stockdale as VP.

Fiscal solvency of the nation wasn't a good enough reason for you? I hope you are happy with your vote for the NWO-pushing Skull & Bones member and CIA spook George H.W. Bush.
Quote from: Maximilian on December 30, 2021, 11:15:48 AM
Quote from: Goldfinch on December 30, 2021, 10:36:10 AM
Quote from: Innocent Smith on December 30, 2021, 10:25:55 AM
If attending Mass, the ordinary form as celebrated everyday around the world be sinful, then the Church no longer exists. Period.
Rather, if the NOM were the lex credendi of the Church, then the Church would no longer exist. However, the true mass and the true sacraments still exist and will hold the candle of faith until Our Lord steps in to restore His Bride to her glory.
We could compare ourselves to the Catholics in England at the time of the Reformation. Was it sinful for them to attend Cranmer's service?
We have to remind ourselves that all the machinery of the "Church" continued in place. They had priests, bishops, churches, cathedrals. But all of them were using the new "Book of Common Prayer" instead of the Catholic Mass. Ordinary lay people could see with their own eyes an enormous entity that called itself the "Church," but did the true Church still exist in that situation? Meanwhile, in small hiding places in certain homes were a handful of true priests offering the true Mass at the risk of imprisonment, torture and death.


ralfy

Quote from: GiftOfGod on February 21, 2021, 06:05:56 PM
I have never heard of the Stockdale Paradox before now and it makes total sense. I have heard of Catholics in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s completely despondent at the Vatican II changes. I'm sure that they thought that God would strike down Paul VI and replace him with a Catholic Pope who would immediately reverse the changes. That didn't happen and devout people fell away from the faith.


Quote from: Jacob on February 08, 2021, 06:46:37 PM
I would have voted for Perot just to see Stockdale as VP.

Fiscal solvency of the nation wasn't a good enough reason for you? I hope you are happy with your vote for the NWO-pushing Skull & Bones member and CIA spook George H.W. Bush.

Despondence over Vatican II looks like the opposite of the Stockdale Paradox. In contrast, Vatican II itself and what happened is exactly that. That is, amidst significant changes in the world, Catholics adjusted and held on.





GiftOfGod

Quote from: ralfy on February 21, 2021, 07:57:25 PM
Quote from: GiftOfGod on February 21, 2021, 06:05:56 PM
I have never heard of the Stockdale Paradox before now and it makes total sense. I have heard of Catholics in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s completely despondent at the Vatican II changes. I'm sure that they thought that God would strike down Paul VI and replace him with a Catholic Pope who would immediately reverse the changes. That didn't happen and devout people fell away from the faith.


Quote from: Jacob on February 08, 2021, 06:46:37 PM
I would have voted for Perot just to see Stockdale as VP.

Fiscal solvency of the nation wasn't a good enough reason for you? I hope you are happy with your vote for the NWO-pushing Skull & Bones member and CIA spook George H.W. Bush.

Despondence over Vatican II looks like the opposite of the Stockdale Paradox. In contrast, Vatican II itself and what happened is exactly that. That is, amidst significant changes in the world, Catholics adjusted and held on.

Apparently you aren't familiar with the Mass attendance statistics.
Quote from: Maximilian on December 30, 2021, 11:15:48 AM
Quote from: Goldfinch on December 30, 2021, 10:36:10 AM
Quote from: Innocent Smith on December 30, 2021, 10:25:55 AM
If attending Mass, the ordinary form as celebrated everyday around the world be sinful, then the Church no longer exists. Period.
Rather, if the NOM were the lex credendi of the Church, then the Church would no longer exist. However, the true mass and the true sacraments still exist and will hold the candle of faith until Our Lord steps in to restore His Bride to her glory.
We could compare ourselves to the Catholics in England at the time of the Reformation. Was it sinful for them to attend Cranmer's service?
We have to remind ourselves that all the machinery of the "Church" continued in place. They had priests, bishops, churches, cathedrals. But all of them were using the new "Book of Common Prayer" instead of the Catholic Mass. Ordinary lay people could see with their own eyes an enormous entity that called itself the "Church," but did the true Church still exist in that situation? Meanwhile, in small hiding places in certain homes were a handful of true priests offering the true Mass at the risk of imprisonment, torture and death.


Jacob

Quote from: GiftOfGod on February 21, 2021, 06:05:56 PM
Quote from: Jacob on February 08, 2021, 06:46:37 PM
I would have voted for Perot just to see Stockdale as VP.

Fiscal solvency of the nation wasn't a good enough reason for you? I hope you are happy with your vote for the NWO-pushing Skull & Bones member and CIA spook George H.W. Bush.

Well, considering I was eleven in 1992, I would have had a hard time voting for anyone.
"Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time."
--Neal Stephenson

drummerboy

"My hope is the Father, my refuge is the Son, my protection is the Holy Spirit.  Holy Trinity, glory to You." 
"All my hope I place in you, O Mother of God; guard me under your protection."

ralfy

Quote from: GiftOfGod on February 21, 2021, 07:59:41 PM

Apparently you aren't familiar with the Mass attendance statistics.

From what I remember, they went on decline in industrialized countries before Vatican II for the U.S. and long after for Europe, but remained high in developing countries.

Also, globally, the numbers of Catholics have been going up, and many of them are in developing countries.