Between our ears – decisions

By Dave Henning / July 8, 2024

“How we approach life and react to its vagaries determines the bulk of our character. . . .  It is between our ears that we decide how easily offended we will be. . . .  In a very real sense, my world begins and ends between my ears.  I don’t have to be brain-dead to be brain-defeated.”- Dick Foth

“For as he thinks in his hear, so is he.”- Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV)

In Chapter 13 (“The Five-and-a-Half-Inch World between Your Ears”) of A Trip around the Sun, Dick Foth talks about eating lunch with an old gentleman on a Sunday afternoon in Queens, NY.  While a teenager in Budapest, Hungary, in 1944, the Nazis took the city.  After a time, they sent the man to a forced labor camp.

But after two escapes and recaptures, the Nazis sent him to Auschwitz.  However, through tenacity and a few miracles, he survived until the Allies liberated the camp in 1945.  Reflecting on his experience, the old gentleman said, “I made up my mind that if anybody walked out of the camps alive, it was going to be me.”

Thus, Dick notes, the man presented not as a survivor, but as a victor.

Most significantly, Dick tells of a study done with one of the fastest growing population subgroups in the United States.  People over the age of one hundred.  Above all, researchers found four qualities these aging, yet vital people, shared: optimism, engagement, mobility, and the ability to adapt to loss.

In conclusion, Dick stresses:

“The quality of our decisions gives our lives meaning.  The decisions that focus us outward provide texture and substance to our lives.  Interestingly, one of the takeaways from these interviews . . . was that people live longer when they decide to become passionately involved in something beyond themselves. . . .

These folks . . . focused on the One who loved them most.  In the face of sorrow and heartbreak, their belief in a loving God stamped their feelings and how they viewed their circumstances. . . .  The real question is obvious: What am I thinking?

Today’s question: What do you find we most often decide between our ears?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “A grateful eye or a critical eye?”

About the author

Dave Henning

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