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By Fred Kofman
Philosopher and Vice President at Linkedin

We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances—to choose one’s own way. … It is this spiritual freedom—which cannot be taken away—that makes life meaningful and purposeful.” Viktor Frankl

Malala Yousafzai born 12 July 1997) is a Pakistani Activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. She is known mainly for human rights advocacy for education and for women in her native (…) province of northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. Yousafzai’s advocacy has since grown into an international movement.” Wikipedia

You cannot control the world. You cannot control other people. Sometimes it seems as though you can’t even control yourself! That is why it is so tempting to feel like a victim when something goes wrong.

You can, however, choose how to respond to the world and to other people. You are response-able. That is why, even if it may not always be possible to be a winner, it is always possible to be a (moral) hero, to express essential human values, unconditionally, in the face of any situation.

Integrity has the power to transform situations that seem like a curse into a blessing. The lotus, sacred in the East, grows amid the stench of the swamp. In fact, the foul waters provide nourishment for the plant and allow its beauty to blossom. Similarly, life’s adversities can provide nourishment for the heart and allow it to bloom. The Western voice of Antonio Machado also speaks to the power of the human heart:

Last night, as I slept,
I dreamt—blessed image!—
that there was a hive
humming within my heart;
and the golden bees
were working there
turning ancient heartaches
to white combs and sweet honey.

In the following video you will see how you can face any adversity with peace of mind.

Fred Kofman Hero Nov5 from LeanIn.org on Vimeo.

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