Where to begin? Coffee for us is about something different, not just a euphoric beverage that provides our caffeine needs, but a way to tell stories and create an emotional connection with people. We as humans have used storytelling to pass down knowledge from generation to generation, and we use symbology as a way to transcend language. These are two key themes that we use when thinking about how to make our next cold brew, the story and symbols we can use to connect with our tribe.
Stoic Bond resonates with me because VADM James Bond Stockdale is one of my heroes. I never had the chance to meet him, but I have been afforded the opportunity to read his writings and his stories that he has passed down. During my time at the Naval Academy, we learned all about the heritage and legacy of those from previous generations of Academy graduates and their tales of triumph and failure both in and out of the military. There was no better forum than to learn from those who have walked in your same steps generations before as you listen to their stories in the effort to pass down their knowledge to the next era of military and civilian leaders.
VADM Stockdale was always different for me, everything about his writing style, his approach to life, and his tokens of wisdom. After completing my Plebe year at the Academy in the summer of 2005, we received news that VADM Stockdale had passed away, and was to be buried at the Naval Academy. At that time, we had known about him due to all the Naval history knowledge we were taught our Plebe year, but it wasn't until my senior year, that I started to read his writings. After reading and highlighting his books multiple times to try and absorb and implement all the wisdom he had provided, I started to give those books away to people I thought would benefit from his story.
His core philosophy was Stoicism, which is defined as "the endurance of pain or hardship without a display of feelings and without complaint." This makes it suggest to being emotionless or acting as a robot, but the implementation of Stoicism could not be further from the truth. During my attempt to implement Stoicism, I have been seen as remote or apatheic in certain situations, but I see it as understanding that emotions have such a strong impact on us, if we let them control our actions and decisions we can lose control of our lives.
This mindset is vitally important today, with all the social media, and comparison to others, we let our emotions control our thoughts and our actions. This in turn, makes us powerless because we are no longer in control of how we feel or act. We lose sleep, we don't eat the right food, we act out to those we care about, all because we view an event as positive or negative. Every video, every Instagram post, every newsfeed update we see, we are bombarded with information that trys to force you into making a decision, "does this make you feel good or bad?" But the problem is these images and videos do not require an emotional response or decision, they are what they are, just a photo or just a video, our reaction to them is what gives them power over our emotions. We willingly give permission to others to control our feelings and emotions vice owning them ourselves, no one else is responsible for your thoughts, emotions or actions but you. Take back your emotions, do not allow others take the reins, be in control and learn a thing or two from VADM Stockdale, and you will find it is tremendously powerful.
Please enjoy the quick video we did to tell our story about Stoic Bond and how we want to carry on his legacy.