The space between stimulus and response

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Paulin Giurgi, Vice President Communication and Marketing, European Media Center – Hope Media

They are big, they are small; they are nice, they are ugly; they are short, they are long; they are strong, they are weak; they are intense, they are light. 

Everybody has them. Nobody can live without them. Emotions! 

I am speaking about anger, anxiety, compassion, envy, fright, gratitude, guilt, happiness, hope, jealousy, love, pride, sadness or shame. 

Emotions are the driving force behind our behaviour. Emotions can make us weak or strong. They can open doors. They can fascinate and motivate people. Or they can close doors and lead to rejection.

According to Viktor Frankl, the famous Austrian psychiatrist and neurologist, “between stimulus and response there is a space” – a reflection space! Some people have a larger space of reflection. Some – a smaller one. The larger our “reflection space”, the better our reaction to the stimulus.   

In this reflection space you have to perceive/analyze/interpret and decide for an appropriate reaction. “In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom”, concludes Frankl. 

In that space you have the freedom to make a good or a bad decision. 

You can forgive or take revenge. You alone are the king or the queen of your reflection space. 

Visualize a 10-year-old boy. Barefoot, trembling with cold, in front of a shoe store, he looks inside the store. From behind, a friendly voice approaches him: “What are you looking at? …” The child replies, “I ask God for a pair of shoes.” The lady takes his hand and they go into the store together. Friendly, she asks the vendor if he could bring her some water and a towel. Soon, the vendor returns with warm water and a towel. The lady takes the boy to the back of the store. She kneels down and washes the boy’s legs. She wipes them with the towel. Then she buys new socks and a pair of new shoes. She puts them on the child, with her own hands. Stroking over the head she asks him with kindness: “Is it better now?” The child is speechless. As she was leaving, he grabbed her hand and asked, “Are you the wife of God?”

Decide to be good, to be kind. Make decisions based on goodness in your “reflection space”! Goodness makes people beautiful.

Goodness is a healing power for every human being. A. We like to be around good people; B. to spend time with them. C. When you repeatedly make decisions based on goodness, D. people will perceive your predictability, E. your constancy, F. your stability G. and will feel secure around you. 

So: be generous! Enlarge the space between stimulus and response with plenty of … goodness! 

Paulin Giurgi, for OPINIA PRODUCTION.

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