In October, 1944, Viktor Frankl, a prominent Jewish psychiatrist, and his wife, Tilly, were taken to Auschwitz concentration camp. Within a year Tilly, who was pregnant, had died along with Frankl's mother and his brother. Frankl himself was subjected to slave labour and torture, but he did not break. Quite the opposite in fact.
Frankl realised that while the Nazis had taken his physical freedom, there was one thing they had no control over: his mind. He spent his days helping others and imagining what life would be like when he left. He concluded: "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."
So, yes, there are many things in our life that we can't control, but we can always control our reactions to even the worst of situations.
n Marianne Power is the author of helpmeblog.net
the art of exerting control