Yesterday, in the middle of a meeting, the man to my left leaned toward me, holding a book in front of me and pointing to a page, and said in a low voice but forceful voice, “Do you want to read this?” It sounded more like a command than a question. “What?” I said. “You mean now?” Instead of answering, he repeated his question even more forcefully. I took the book, as if I didn’t have a choice. I skimmed the page and handed it back to him, relieved that I was leaving the meeting early and mad at the man and myself.
It was only a three-minute exchange, but it was important for me. Here’s why: between his question and my response, there was a space. I couldn’t see that space at the time, but I can see it clearly now. In that space, I could have simply said, “No, thank you.” That makes me smile. There is always a space. Today, I will look for it.
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In the space there is power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Victor Frankl
“For you have been called to live in freedom. . . .” Galatians 5:13