Viktor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning, wrote about our power to choose our attitude, no matter what the circumstances. Therein lies our true freedom. Frankl describes our power to make choices this way: “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”
This space is the alternative to striking out impulsively, without thinking. This space is the difference between reacting and responding. Especially for those with ADD, this space may not come naturally, and the awareness of it must be taught and practiced.
Buying time is another way of describing those precious seconds that allow us to make a conscious choice to assess before reacting by default. Reading a negative post online, being cut off in traffic, or watching a child knock over a whole glass of milk, are opportunities to allow our intelligent thought to have a say. Taking a breath or the time tested practice of counting to ten can make a major difference in the choices we make.
Sometimes when a swift and life-saving action is taken, the responder attributes training to having taken effective immediate action. Even then, the precious half second between stimulus and response underlies our human freedom and the importance of ready access to our underlying morals and beliefs.