A young lady I met recently is doing a Doctorate(PhD) in ‘Resilience’. It seems to be the new buzzword. I think it is much misunderstood. According to the dictionary :
- the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.
“nylon is excellent in wearability, abrasion resistance and resilience”
2. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
“the often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions”
It is much more complex than that.
“…it is a multifaceted construct, referring to a person’s capacity to handle environmental difficulties, demands and high pressure without experiencing negative effects.” (Kinman and Grant, 2011)
Dr Ginsburg describes it as a skill that can be taught and learnt – the 7 ‘C’s of resilience:
- Competence: Being careful that our desire to protect someone doesn’t mistakenly send a message that we don’t think they are competent in handling the situation.
- Confidence: Recognition and honest praise for a job well done.
- Connection: Close family and community ties providing a safe environment for expression of all emotions
- Character: developing a set of values by example, helping the child recognize himself or herself as a caring person.
- Contribution: stressing the importance of serving others by modeling generosity.
- Coping: Not condemning a child for bad behavior but helping them with positive ways of managing stress.
- Control: Empower the child by making them see that they can make a difference by the actions they take.
In the past I have taken some very tough decisions. I carried them through to my own detriment. That was damaging. Now I know it was not resilience. It was lack of self-awareness and foolhardiness of youth.
“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.”
― Robert Jordan