True agency

Agency. It’s a word we hear more and more to counter the impression that someone is in a hopeless situation, a passive victim of circumstances beyond their control. Agency means empowerment, the ability to impact a situation or achieve an end. Aspects of agency are often highlighted as a response to difficult, even heart-wrenching events.

Where does agency come from? Perhaps we begin to experience it as an inner confidence that good is always possible and that progress can happen anywhere in the world. While this is a helpful outlook, when left to our own resources, even the best human efforts can fall short, leaving a deeper sense of failure and disappointment instead of resilience.

So how can we reliably find the empowerment we need?

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