AL SIEBERT has spent 40 years interviewing survivors of all kinds to find out what makes them different from people who don't survive difficult situations. One of his discoveries is survivors tend to be curious. They ask questions about the situation.
Often people who didn’t survive tried to impose their own “shoulds” on the situation: People should act this way; nobody should be allowed to be so brutal; nobody should have to eat food with weavils in it. Rather than opening their minds to the way things were really working, they pointlessly occupied their minds with fruitless indignation at what should not be.
Survivors on the other hand, says Siebert, asked themselves questions like, “What is going on here?” “How do the guards see this?” “What must I do to give myself a chance to survive?” They were curious, open, and inquisitive.
This kind of questioning is good for a great many applications besides surviving in a POW camp: at work, in your marriage, with your kids. Find out how things work, what’s going on, who responds to what, what people are feeling and why, etc., etc. There is so much to know and so little time. So open your eyes and ears and start asking some good questions.