Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Stoic's Thoughts

On September 9, 1965, I flew at 500 knots right into a flak trap, at tree-top level, in a little A-4 airplane - the cockpit walls not even three feet apart - which I couldn't steer after it was on fire, its control system shot out. After ejection I had about thirty seconds to make my last statement in freedom before I landed in the main street of a little village right ahead. And so help me, I whispered to myself: "Five years down there, at least. I'm leaving the world of technology and entering the world of Epictetus." 

- From Courage Under Fire: Testing Epictetus's Doctrines in a Laboratory of Human Behavior by James Bond Stockdale

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