Using Positive Psychology to Help Disabled Veterans

I’ve been involved in a discussion on Positive Psychology News Daily in response to the challenge “How can we use Positive Psychology to improve the lives of the veterans living with never-before-seen levels of debilitation?” (Jordan Silberman, Let’s put our heads together and subsequent comments.)

It’s an interesting question to ponder. It makes me think of the wide range of ways, positive and negative, successful and failing, that people have invented to deal with hardship ever since there were people. I keep my eyes open for ways that inspire me. I think there are many, many adjustments people have made to serious loss and debilitation that are awe-inspiring because they remind us what’s possible.

And then, we all have reasons to think “It might have been otherwise” – and we know someday it will be.

Jane Kenyon


I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.
At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.

Readers, I invite you to read Jordan’s challenge and to join the discussion. What have you seen in your own experience that we can add to a collection of stories about endurance and overcoming great odds?

Also, this discussion makes me think of the suffering of Job in the Bible, which makes me think of William Blake (see below). I found a larger rendering of the picture below on the History of Art Web site.

Job Confessing


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Filed under Extraordinary people, Good with the Bad

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