Pain, Suffering and Choice

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“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

          –     Viktor Frankl (1905 – 1977), Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, survivor of the Holocaust

In a quote the Google® attributes to everyone from Ghandi to “Fake Buddah,” we’ve heard that “pain is inevitable but suffering / misery is optional.”  That is the power Frankl references.  The power to choose our response.  For the record, I say we go with the experience and advice of someone who survived one of history’s greatest horrors on this topic, ok?

Stimulus?  Maybe something spectacular just happened. Maybe something that can only be described with disgust and profanity just happened.  Response; we can bask or gloat, we can cry, mope and play the victim, or we can choose, carefully, a measured response in both the good times and the bad.  Because, we never really know which scenario is at play.

Since I’m on a roll with two quotes already, here’s a third one, a DD Standard from my friend, Dr. Tom Graf.  “Most things in life are neither good nor bad, right nor wrong.  Most things just are.”

Power, or whatever we relate to power, is rarely in our grasp.  The power to choose our response, however, is there all the time.

Do we choose more often or just react?  Do we choose well, or do we squander the power we’ve got at our disposal?

Whatever we’re facing today, the best-of-the-best or the lowest-of-lows, let’s choose to choose, and choose well.

 


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