Between Stimulus And Response, continued.
“Through a series of such disciplines—mental, emotional, and moral, principally using memory and imagination—he exercised his small, embryonic freedom until it grew larger and larger, until he had more freedom than his Nazi captors. They had more liberty, more option to choose from in their environment; but he had more freedom, more internal power to exercise his options. He became an inspiration to those around him even to some of guards. He helped others find meaning in their suffering and dignity in their prison existence.
In the midst of the most degrading circumstances imaginable, Frankl used the human endowment of self-awareness to discover a fundamental principle about the nature of man: Between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose.
Within the freedom to choose are those endowments that make us uniquely human. In addition to self-awareness, we have imagination—the ability to create in our mind beyond our present reality. We have conscience—a deep inner awareness of right and wrong, of the principles that govern our behavior, and a sense of the degree to which our thoughts and actions are in harmony with them. And we have independent will—the ability to act based on our self-awareness, free of all other influences.
Our unique human endowments lift us above the animal world. The extent to which we exercise and develop these endowments empowers us to fulfill our uniquely human potential. Between stimulus and response is our greatest power—the freedom to choose.”
Look around at those you see, and those you interact with. What do you see, and sense, in them? Do you sense what Covey is talking about, in them, and politicians/leaders? In many, not all, I sense attempts to manipulate, a need for power (at any cost), sacrificing right for wrong. Many have not lifted themselves above the animal world.
One of my favorite examples is Dow Chemical in the 70’s vs. Dow today. Manufacturing ran Dow up until the mid-80’s, and then Sales took over. The company went from well-trusted leaders to something less than trustworthy.