Questions of survival: Who am I? Why am I here?

Using the crushing experience of Vice Admiral James Stockdale and his fellow POWs, some of whom, like Stockdale, were held captive in solitary confinement for up to eight years during the Vietnam war, Big Think contributor Dr. Dennis Charney talks about his and others' research into the idea of resilience. In this video, he suggests that "an ability to combine realism with optimism" is an important key to resiliency, and that, moreover, the lessons can be applied by sufferers of depression and anxiety.

Asked to introduce himself at the 1992 vice presidential debate - he was third party candidate Ross Perot's running mate - Stockdale began in a self-deprecating way by asking, "who am I? Why am I here?"

I remember watching that debate. I had always believed those two questions were merely rhetorical.