Monthly Article Archives: December 2015

Gratitude in the Face of Adversity: A Source of ResilienceRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

We live in a time of heightened anxiety, fueled in no small measure by ongoing acts of terrorism being perpetrated throughout the world.  While renowned Harvard University psychologist Dr. Steven Pinker offers intriguing evidence in his bestselling book The Better Angels of Our Nature that violence in human societies has actually declined since Biblical days, many might question his position.  Or, they might argue that even if Pinker’s assessment is accurate, the occurrence of violence in today’s world is still overwhelming.  In some countries acts of violence are unrelenting, transpiring on a daily basis.  Even in those countries in which such acts are sporadic, the unpredictability of when and where they will occur generates an ongoing sense of anxiety in many people. In just the past six months there are many examples of the loss of lives as a result of terrorism—the downing of a Russian plane over Egypt with more than 200 aboard, the murder of nine worshipers at the historic Emanuel Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, the killings on several college campuses, including nine who perished at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, the shootings at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs that left three

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