“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 E. Frankl
Today was an interesting day. It began with a righteous opportunity to be pissed off, indignant, frustrated and disgusted, and these would have been justified in the life I used to live. Indeed, many people I know would have lost it and blurted out stuff they might have later too late reconsidered.
I am proud and pleased to report that I have successfully overcame another of those situations we all periodically face. I remained calm and though I took note of the stimulus from the other, I chose not to react to it, and to respond to it instead. It would have been easy to react, but not very positive in the potential outcome. I prefer the response of today.
To take that one step further–and this is the part I’m really proud and happy about–my internal response was so different and so much more compassionate than it would have been at any other time in my life. I thought, ‘you’re being rude and I don’t understand it, but I’m sure you must be under pressure in some way. I want to turn this around and have a positive outcome as I’m sure you do too.’
As it turned out, the lack of reaction on my part (our part, as there were two of us), was perfect and it ended on a much more positive note than it appeared it might.
I am practicing my own preaching and it is most enjoyable. The thought always comes before the action; before the habit.
Inwardly, although I hardly knew this person at all, I was trying my best to love him and to be loving, caring, and understanding of THEIR perspective on things. In other words compassionate.
My recommendation is to practice this as often as you can for that is how I have been winning the battle in my mind of the misguided stimuli that I get from all those unintentional and careless providers.
I might also add this quote I recently read that helped me today from Father James Keller: “Three hundred years ago a prisoner condemned to the Tower of London carved on the wall of his cell this sentiment to keep up his spirits during his long imprisonment: ‘It is not adversity that kills, but the impatience with which we bear adversity.'”
Rejoice In Our Ultimate Power Of Response!
Spread Some Joy Today–Give a co-worker a hug instead of a handshake. It will make all the difference.