“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
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space”. The truth is, many people don’t even notice that there is a space between stimulus and response. In fact, that space may be so miniscule, we simply react to a stimulus rather than respond. But the space is there, and there are things we can do to expand it.
This week the Jewish holiday of Purim and the Hindu holiday of Holi overlapped, as they sometimes do. I am not sure there is a more delightfully instructive contrast between two religious holidays on the calendar. There’s something about the way they’re celebrated that sheds some light on some oft-overlooked human spiritual needs. Continue reading →
The last week has left me reflecting a lot on virtue: what does it look like when it shows up? I’m trying not to sink down into pondering the ugly, murky crater that is virtue’s absence. Spending too much time staring at a trainwreck of bad behaviour has never done my soul any favours: whether I feel superiority or despair, it’s the opposite of edifying. “Well THAT person has made awful choices” doesn’t exactly make me jump up and sparkle with good energy. “The world is filled with horrible people doing horrible things, hope has left the building”, makes me want to lie down and not get up.
Possibly it’s a lot more worthwhile to spend energy reflecting on the good, on what’s beautiful and righteous and dignified. I don’t mean empty Pollyanna daydreams, either (they annoy me in a similarly lie-down-forever kind of way). I mean the kind of right-doing that makes me want to get up and fight for the same cause. Continue reading →