Last week we began looking at the interesting topic of emotional resilience what is it, how can we teach it, and what would we like to see as a result.
We started by defining emotional resilience. In addition to the list of characteristics outlined last week an emotionally resilient person would, most crucially have a sense of self-worth, a keen sense of his or her own dignity, and they would therefore be able to discriminate the harmful from the harmless, the valuable from the cheap and tawdry, the fine from the coarse. And then they would be able to choose that which is fine and noble and dignified over that which is vicious, mean and valueless.
The next question is: how do teachers go about teaching this? The key element here is that to teach anything, a teacher has to understand the subject. The teachers have to be emotionally mature and resilient themselves in order to communicate and model these behaviours. So the good character of the teacher is a decisive factor.
Some reference to recognised authority can also help. The children can learn of the patience of the Buddha, the forbearance of Christ, the rigour and courage of Moses; and also the intellectual focus and perseverance of Einstein and Newton; the fortitude of Churchill; the devotion to duty of the Queen; the moral courage of Martin Luther King; the compassion of Mother Teresa.
And the final factor is practical application. The teacher should require the children to actually practise emotional resilience when it counts, when they are challenged by the ups and downs of life.
And then what? Then we trust that they will become strong, compassionate, young men and women with a sense of fair play, and the courage to speak up when needed. They will have impulse control because they will be in charge of themselves; conflict resolution because they will be able to empathise with others; and the ability to build valuable relationships because they value themselves.
Answer to last week’s puzzle: 1. San Francisco; 2. Agra; 3. Washington DC; 4. Florence.
Next puzzle: a. Who was known as the father of taxonomy, and b. What is his connection to Australia’s history?