In the classroom, we see a lot of different students, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, personalities, and quirks. It’s genuinely amazing how they can be so similar in so many ways, and yet utterly unique. When parents and teachers are talking about how they can help a child succeed, the discussion has to be different each time to account for the child, but the one thing that is universal when talking about success, it’s going to be resilience.
Resilience is one of those words that seems to come up a lot whenever you hear anyone who has achieved any level of success in any field. The fact of the matter is that nobody trips and falls face first into a puddle of excellence. We all struggle in different ways and at different points. Think of any famous success you’d like, read their biographies and then sit in awe of the odds they had to overcome. Whether we’re talking about Michael Jordan getting cut from the basketball team, or Abraham Lincoln losing his mother when he was only nine, the people who achieve greatness are no freer of struggle and suffering than the rest of us. So then, what allows them to thrive in situations that seem so incredibly overwhelming? It’s their resilience.
Resilience is my favorite kind of ability, the kind that is learned, developed, and practiced. Resilience isn’t something that some are born with and others will never have, instead it’s something that is modeled for us by people in our lives and that we develop by struggling. The truth is that resilience is a skill that favors the unfortunate. The more times we experience falling short, the more times things seem to break against us, the more opportunities we have to grow in resilience, and the more ready we’ll be when the next storm hits. Especially for those of us working with or raising children, let’s make sure that we show them by our actions, and not just our words, that when we take a loss, that’s actually just another step closer to the coming win.