Cultural Proficiency

The Kobyashi Maru Test

No-Win Situations Are Real And Anyone Can Be Facing A No-Win Situation.

Cultural Proficiency Training
The Kobyashi Maru Test

"Kobayashi Maru", loosely translated, means "Little wooden ship. The "Kobayashi Maru" test is a Starfleet training exercise designed to test the character of cadets in the command track at Starfleet Academy. The primary goal of the Kobayashi Maru test is to rescue the disarmed and disabled civilian vessel "Kobayashi Maru" in a simulated battle with the Klingons. The "Kobayashi Maru" 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, which would either endanger their own ship and lives or leave the "Kobayashi Maru" crew and ship to certain death and destruction. If the cadet captain (in this case James Tiberius Kirk) chooses to attempt rescue, the simulation is designed to guarantee that the ship is destroyed with the loss of all crew members. Top

A No-Win Situation

A no-win situation is one where a person has choices, but no choice leads to a net gain. For example, if an executioner is offered the condemned the choice of dying by being hanged, shot, or poisoned, since all choices lead to death, the condemned is in a no-win situation. This bleak situation gives the chooser little room. Whatever choice is made, the person making, it will lose their life. A similar example is one in which a military victory is so costly that the winning side actually ends up worse off than before it started. In other words, the "victorious" side may have accomplished their objective, but the objective may have been worthless, or they may lose a strategic advantage in manpower or positioning. Such a victory is sometimes described as "winning the battle but losing the war". In the opening scene of the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, a cadet captain Kirk, is the only person to have won the "Kobayashi Maru" scenario by reprogramming the simulator. A no-win situation that is caused by a set of rules can only be won by changing the rules.

Abortion-Minded and Abortion-Vulnerable Women

The abortion-minded woman is one who is planning or intending to obtain an abortion. The abortion-vulnerable woman is one who by continuing her pregnancy faces obstacles that she may feel incapable or unwilling to handle. In either case, when a woman is faced with the responsibility of caring for multiple dependents or financially providing for a child all alone or the lost of work or school, carrying a child to term can appear to be a no-win situation.

What Course To Take?

Anyone can face a no-win situation. Perhaps your boss is impossible to work with and|or work for. Perhaps the company you work for is a terrible fit. As such, the question that confronts anyone in a no-win situation is: "What course to take?" Top

Frankly, there are three (3) options to choose from: Retreat, Wait, or Advance.

  1. 1. Retreat. Sun Tzu once said, "Therefore, the art of employing troops is that when the enemy occupies high ground, do not confront him; with his back resting on the hills, do not oppose him." To successfully retreat, one must accept that some situations are irredeemable and it's a better use of your time and energy to move on to bigger and better things.

  2. 2. Wait. Sun Tzu once said, "The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat, but cannot make certain of defeating the enemy." While waiting for conditions to change for the better can often be a viable option, one must be careful. By not taking an active approach (i.e., retreat or advance), you are at the mercy of unforeseen events. As such, it is critical that you have a backup plan in case your delaying strategy fails.

  3. 3. Advance. Sun Tzu once said, "The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom." If you think like James Tiberius Kirk you may refuse to accept losing a no-win situation and risk it all. In such cases remember how you advance can be the difference between the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Sun Tzu also said: "In war, numbers alone confer no advantage. Do not advance relying on sheer military power." If advancing is your choice, be honest with yourself and understand your motive for doing so. Is it really all about the good of others or is it simply all about you?


For those of us with a Judeo Christian worldview, James 1:27 is clear. The worship that God wants is all about caring for orphans or widows who need help and keeping ourselves free from the world’s evil influence. This is the kind of worship that God accepts as pure and good. Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is only deceiving himself. This kind of religion is simply self serving. Real religion, the kind that gives God the glory will reach out to women and children, to the homeless and loveless and guard against being corrupted from the godless world we live in. Top

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