Stumbled across this article (meaning a friend linked to it on twitter) and had a few thoughts. Here’s a snippet first:
Any extended period of negative emotions can lead to you giving in to despair and accepting your fate. If you remain alone for a long time, you will decide loneliness is a fact of life and pass up opportunities to hang out with people. The loss of control in any situation will lead to this state. A study in 1976 by Langer and Rodin showed in nursing homes where conformity and passivity is encouraged and every whim is attended to, the health and well-being of the patients declines rapidly. If, instead, the people in these homes are given responsibilities and choices, they remain healthy and active. This research was repeated in prisons. Sure enough, just letting prisoners move furniture and control the television kept them from developing health problems and staging revolts. In homeless shelters where people can’t pick out their own beds or choose what to eat, the residents are less likely to try and get a job or find an apartment.( from Learned Helplessness « You Are Not So Smart.)
The article (you should read it) got me thinking about hope. People can lose heart, lose hope, and flounder so easily. The human spirit is easy to break because it starts out broken. This is why the Gospel is so important. It’s because the only real hope, the only real escape of that brokenness, is the healing that Jesus can bring into your life. People learn to be helpless because they are helpless. At the core. And only one true help can be found, and that’s in Jesus. This is what keeps us working at the Morning Center to help women in need, and it is what keeps Christians telling others about what we’ve found in Jesus.
In Christ alone my Hope is found.