This is a quick post as a follow-up to one I wrote recently about the Stockdale Paradox. The idea is that we must hold to an unshakable faith that whatever we are going through can not only be survived, but can serve to make us better in some way. At the same time we hold this posivitive long-term view, we must be willing to face the brutal facts of our current situation. Either of these perspectives without the other can be catastrophic. All of this is somewhat philosophical so when I read two examples in yesterday's Montgomery Advertiser of a failure to grasp this principle, I began to feel that I had to express my thoughts.
The first example is a tragic local story of an estranged husband shooting to death his 3 young children, driving to his mother-in-law's house where his wife was staying, going into the house and shooting himself to death. Much has been said and written locally about this terrible event. I want to focus on one statement made by Brenda Robinson, the surviving wife and mother. Among many other things, she said of her deceased husband "He was actually a pretty good man." Well, I beg to differ. I could debate for hours why this is not true, but my point here is that this lady, God bless her in her grief, chose to overlook some serious defects in her husbands character. I could speculate why and probably come close, but let's just leave it at this fact. He showed signs of serious abuse. He came from a background of abuse. He needed help. If he refused help, she needed protection. If she refused protection, the children needed protection.
The second example from the same paper is much less tragic, and seems on the surface very funny. The headline read "Five Hundred Pound Man Rescued from River". Apparently, this 500 pound man was floating down a shallow river on an inner tube which hit a rock, not surprisingly, and burst, not surprisingly. I will skip the details about the hours and dollars spent to rescue this man and the obvious questions about why he could not just walk out of the river. For the purpose of this post, consider the comment made by his mother; "He is really in pretty good shape." What? How can that be? Folks, we need to face the brutal facts. And we need to tell each other the truth.