Intelligently controlling one’s life involves harnessing man’s faculties of emotion, senses and will to make decisions. When this happens, man takes all these parts of himself and channels them towards a more noble goal. We’ve already established within the course that emotions and feelings are one thing. However more important is man’s response or what he does with when these emotions happen to him. “I feel like and so I do” versus “I feel like, and yet I choose not to do”. This is one of the distinguishing characteristics of man that sets him apart from other animals. The consequence of this is that even within negative or less than favourable situations, man can act in a direction totally opposite from what his feelings dictate. He can weigh his options and still choose to rise up to challenges.
In a letter to Almudena, we see a situation wherein a couple had adopted a girl child. This child was implied to be disabled in some unspecified way or form. With that disability, of course, came limitations, both to her and to the parents as well. Now they (the parents) had to expand themselves, doing things that they would not have done otherwise had she been completely normal with respect to bodily functions and capabilities. Although the couple acknowledged that they feared the consequences of taking a physically challenged child under their care, we do see a different outcome playing out, evidenced by their own testimony. The testimony made no mention about a cure for Almudena’s disability nor did it say the challenges of raising her somehow disappeared. But we do a difference in perspective from the parents concerning the whole situation. Where they could have been bogged down by the weight of it all, we see an effulgence of love and affection towards her instead. This change in perspective brought about a change in their experience bringing beauty out of what may have been termed a dire situation. This kind of a change in perspective is not the product of a stroke of serendipity but a wilful decision to see things differently. They willingly gave her all the love and attention that they would a normal child, not letting her condition hinder their heart towards her. This is a very wonderful picture of how the human mind can change its outlook in any situations. We see something similar illustrated by the harvest psychologist, Kevin Majeres, on the podcast “Handling Anxiety”, where he talked about turning anxiety into an opportunity for change and personal growth. Perhaps Almudena’s parents could have thought “Oh! What have we gotten ourselves into?”. Instead, they chose to change their outlook and that in turn changed their whole experience.
Man is intelligent. He has the capacity for knowledge acquisition, He also possesses an appetition, which is a drive to want or not to. With his intelligence man can decide, chart a course for his life, take advantage of opportunities that are presented to him; whether they be negative or positive, favourable experiences or otherwise. With his intelligence, he can ultimately change things. Even when the situations themselves don’t change, the man changes and grows in the midst of them.