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Lessons Learned From The Kobayashi Maru

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(POPEYE) As I look at the world with all it’s craziness and doom as of late I am reminded of the Kobayashi Maru test from the Star Trek series. Allow me to explain further. The Kobayashi Maru is a Starfleet training exercise designed to test the character of cadets in the command track at Starfleet Academy. The test’s name is occasionally used among Star Trek fans or those familiar with the series to describe a no-win scenario, or a solution that involves redefining the problem and testing one’s character.

The notional primary goal of the exercise is to rescue the civilian vessel Kobayashi Maru in a simulated battle with the Klingons. The disabled ship is located in the Klingon Neutral Zone, and any Starfleet ship entering the zone would cause an interstellar incident. The approaching cadet crew must decide whether to attempt rescue of the Kobayashi Maru crew – endangering their own ship and lives – or leave the Kobayashi Maru to certain destruction. If the cadet chooses to attempt rescue, the simulation is designed to guarantee that the ship is destroyed with the loss of all crew members.

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Captain James T. Kirk took the test three times while at Starfleet Academy. Before his third attempt, Kirk surreptitiously reprogrammed the simulator so that it was possible to rescue the freighter. Captain Kirk is accused at one point later in his career as never actually facing a no-win situation, to which he replies that he doesn’t believe in such a thing.

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Now how does all of this apply to our current real world situations? Here is how… all Capt. Kirk did was think outside the box. He looked at the problem and came up with a solution on his own. In the series story line Kirk was awarded a commendation for “original thinking” because of how he handled the situation.

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Our award or commendation would be the solving of the problem itself if we applied the same level of thinking with our real world issues.

A simple shift in perspective, a shift in the way we look at the world and all it’s problems is the basis of all the solutions we are looking for. We are literally the solutions to our own problems. Be like Capt. James T. Kirk, don’t believe in the no-win situation, instead believe in yourselves as the solutions to the problems we all face together. I love you all, and believe in you all. Go be the superheros I know you all are, go be the change.

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