Taking A Moment
There is a story in Sharon Salzberg’s book Real Happiness about children learning about the importance about ‘taking a moment’ before acting on difficult emotions. How wonderful would it be if this became a part of the curriculum in every school in this nation. It seems we value ‘quick thinking and action’ and we celebrate people who can counter criticism deftly with a witty comeback. But we rarely celebrate the person who can turn away and deflect harsh words with kindness. And teaching children how to know the difference “suggests the possibility of finding the gap between a trigger event and our usual conditioned response to it, and of using that pause to collect ourselves and change our response.” *
In my line of work, I see the results of ‘not taking a moment’ all of the time. It can be as (relatively) benign as someone flipping the bird to another driver on the freeway or as horrible as the violence of a homicide. And in almost all of those situations, the moment was there to be taken but the opportunity was lost.
We only have a limited amount of time on this earth but we have a limitless ability to pause. I think that’s what we are learning here.
*Sharon Salzberg Real Happiness pg 107
Turbo the Wonder Cat…Pausing