Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Gap Between Impulse and Response

Peanut Butter & Jelly

Two days ago my daughter was eating a peanut butter sandwich. She opened the sandwich and began carefully eating each side open-faced. I sat with her at the table and she said, "Sometimes, I want to hurt myself, or like turn this on the table and make a mess," she gestured with her sandwich. "But I don't."

I was a little taken aback by this comment. "Oh?"

"Yeah. I feel like I want to. But I don't."

I realized that she was talking about impulses, more specifically, the moment between impulse and response. She was articulating what millions of people don't understand for years--sometimes never d0--and that was that she had the power to make a choice. In that gap between impulse and response lies destiny.

I told her that she was right, that she had a choice and this was a very mature realization.

I am still amazed. I have spent the last five years working on this very issue. First on my own issues, and now for the last year and half, I continue to grow as I help others.

I honestly wasn't sure if that this was possible for a five-year-old. When I was five if I wondered what kind of commotion spilling my milk would create, it was spilled before I completed the thought. I can only assume that she is receiving some kind of education I was unaware of. I am so grateful for this awareness.

I am so grateful.


  1. You've said yourself she's a little prophetess... of course she's receiving training you don't know about! :)

    I've been receiving some heavy training of the Spirit on this particular subject of late! SO neat to hear of in your wee one. ^_^

  2. I just read about "the gap between stimulus and response" the other day in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. What an empowering insight it is!



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