Friday, January 8, 2010


I'm not talking about myself, I was thinking about the world in general this morning in my meditation.  I heard on the news that the job market remains very bad and nothing that the government's been doing to fix the economy seems to be helping.  And - the private sector is shrinking - which it doesn't look good for this administration if it can't lift us out of this mess. 

I was also thinking about the PBS show "This Emotional Life" which I watched this week.  I haven't seen the whole three part series yet, but the last segment was my favorite.  What I really loved, that I'd never heard, was about a study of POW's who'd suffered horrific torture and imprisonment for many years.  When asked if it was possible to remove that period of their lives, would they choose to?  The answer was for most of them, no.  And the reason was that it was the time in their lives when they learned the most about themselves, when they saw how strong they were and how resilient.  The torture was almost unspeakable, and the years in solitary confinement were devastating, but one former prisoner talked about a tapping system on the walls of their cells that the prisoners devised to communicate with each other and how that saved their lives. They prayed, taught each other different languages, talked about their families. 

The show also showed the power of 12 Step Programs and how that sense of community is one of most effective tools for dealing with addictive behaviors and transformation.  The spiritual aspect is also important, but the connection between human beings is really crucial.

I wrote about Daniel Gilbert and his studies about happiness a few months ago, based on an article I read in the NY Times.  This show on PBS, particularly the final installment, is really worth watching.  And maybe this period in our country's history, and most of the rest of the world's, is a period that we will look back as one we were able to grow from and prove how resilient we are. 

1 comment:

Mia said...

I loved the segment on Family, Friends & Lovers. Just delightful and uplifting, though I did feel that the wife in the white couple who talked about their marriage capitulated too easily. I wouldn't sleep with her husband either—too much self-pity and aggrievement.