“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.”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
How many of the students you have worked with with would you describe as bent , but not broken? Even under the most horrific of circumstances they remain resilient.Why is that?
According to Steven M Southwick and Denis Charney in Resilience The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges there are 10 resilience factors that people use as coping strategies that make them more resilient.
People who are resilient :
- Are active problem solvers who look for meaning and opportunity in adversity
- Accept social support and seek it out
- Accept the things thay cannot change as well as confront their fears
- Attended to their health and well being
- Have an optimistic, but realistic outlook
- Imitate strong role models
- Rely on their own inner moral compass
- Use humour even in their darkness
- Take personal responsibilty for their own emotional well being
- Utilize religious or spiritual practices
People who are resilient will often look to their experiences as ways to find a platform for growth. I have seen this with students who have lived through physical, emotional and sexual abuse as well as other traumas. Students will find a means and a way to ask for help, but do more than that by using their inner strengths to push forward and make a difference in themselves and their world. They show themselves and the world what they are made of.
One of my all time favorite authors Viktor Frankl , who wrote Mans Search for Meaning, describes in this rare seen footage how we can help students by promoting them to what they really can be. We need to see students as they should be and help them to see what they are capable of becoming. We can help them in becoming more resilient by being that role model for them.
Over the years, I have seen many examples of students who are amazingly resilient as well as those that need to be taught how to be. I know I want to model resiliency for the students I serve. What about you?
Here is a great video on teen stress and how to cope: