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Monday, August 20, 2012

The resilience gene.


You just can't kill grass!


Whatever happens, however you experience life, your instincts to remain alive, to fight for your life, to keep on trying no matter the odds, just as wild grass  keeps growing on sand, you find ways to grow and survive.

Resilience may be in our DNA, in our genes. How else can we explain so many survival stories?
Despite war, famine, pestilence, natural disasters, throughout our evolution, people have managed to multiply and occupy the entire planet.

As we migrated to territories that should have killed us, we managed to find ways to fight heat, cold, frigid temperatures, even lack of oxygen. The more challenges we faced, the more creative we became.

Our biggest heroes overcame great odds. kept fighting and remained focused on their goals. Their stories are passed down and acknowledged.

Perhaps, if and when we have no more challenges, our resilience gene will disappear.

The way our tails did.
How do we make our children safe and resilient at the same time?


25 comments:

joeh said...

While fly-fishing this spring I saw a rock in the middle of a river. About one foot of the rock was above the fast moving water and still there was a patch of grass growing on this rock in about a handfull of dirt on the rock in the middle of the river. I wanted to take a picture and write something similar to your post, but did not have a camera with me.

I doubt I would have been able to voice it as well as you have.

ellen abbott said...

I think you have to allow your children to get hurt. not life threatening hurts of course and teach them how to be cautious and how to asses risk factors, but keeping them totally protected so they never get hurt only hurts them in a different way.

Velva said...

We make our children resilient by allowing them to experience life without constant hovering and protection.

Velva

Patricia said...

Wonderful, Rosaria. I think that most of my "hope" about life comes from my deep belief in the resilience of the human species. Resilience also comes from past experience. For my grandchildren, I always point out when I observe how they were able to handle a difficult situation to build confidence in the ability to get through anything.

Rob-bear said...

I'm with Patricia. Helping youngsters grow strong by reminding them of their own strength. And resilience.

Rob-bear said...

P.S.: I do not think we will ever run out of the need for resilience. Given the interconnectedness of human lives, and the uncertainties of the world in which we live.

Retired English Teacher said...

I have attended some seminars on teaching/promoting resilience in education and have found this to be a very interesting and important topic that needs to be considered more. I think resilience is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children. We certain don't do this by protecting them from every adversary in life.

Brian Miller said...

i think in the end we model it...it is interesting...under the most pressure we can do some pretty amazing things...take that away though and it seems to impede progress....smiles.

musicwithinyou said...

This goes along with the one thing we are born with, it's called the fight or flight response. Every living thing has it. We also have that need to learn through experience. No one really likes getting burned or hit but we react best when we are. It gives us the knowledge first hand at how it feels so it imprints those moments in our mind, so when we are faced with the situation again we will react to it.

Tabor said...

It is biology. Survival of the fittest and the most adaptable. Evolution has proved this time and again.

becky said...

Yes, like the wildflowers on the slopes of the Rocky Mountains...against all odds, they fight to hang onto the edge.

yaya said...

Not shielding kids from every day life struggles...let them face consequences, don't give them everything, teach them how to work, and I'm a strong believer that I need to all that I can along with help from God..anything is possible..even growing strong in a harsh world.

ds said...

The human spirit is a remarkable instrument; even against overwhelming odds it is determined to endure. That said, I believe we are models for our children, as Brian wrote. Even our smallest action is an example. The hardest one is letting go. Resilience is not built by standing, but by getting up after falling down.

SG said...

A part of the resilience is probably in their DNA... the rest, well by saying and doing the right things when they are down, when they fail. Now what those right things would be will probably vary from culture to culture, but the essential idea would be to instill the belief that failures don't make or break a man, it is what we do after failing that defines us.

the walking man said...

If my children haven't learned to adapt to an ever changing social climate and environmental change by now, there is nothing more I can teach them.

Me, I am done adapting, changing to fit an environment that only increases in "what ever" around me. *shrug* From this point out "what will be is what will be."

She Writes said...

I am learning about resilience. Most women in my family have not chosen to endure. Here I am trying to be what I have not seen modeled. I stop at my own lessons for now. Learning.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Finding that fine line between keeping our kids safe and teaching them to be resilient and to try new things is so tricky sometimes! I don't helicopter, but sometimes I want to.

Love your example, by the way. I'm seeing that resilience in my neighborhood as people, and the land, rebuild from the Waldo Canyon Fire. Both are amazing.

NitWit1 said...

Your word comparisons are much more acceptable and esthetic than mine would have been.

Since I battle weeds with every weed killer known to man, they keep coming back in the same place all the time.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Here the weeds are resilient...Jerry attacks with Roundup around crevices, walls, that eradicates but soon enough weeds emerge stronger and bigger...I come from a line of reslient ancestors and have been resilient as I look over what I've come thru in life..resilience comes with perseverance and striving and not letting the scabs over the wounds crust out life.

Rachel Cotterill said...

Good point... it's a bit like immune systems and being "too clean"

Hilary said...

Resilience is something I've always associated with children.. and very strong wills. Somewhere along the way our own determination falters somewhat and we tend to focus on our children's resilience instead.

RNSANE said...

Sometimes, I think we can learn a lot about resilience from our children. They seem to adjust and bounce back better than we adults do when faced with a a difficulty or life change.
But Brian is right. Children do learn their reactions by watching us. It is often very embarrassing to see them mimicking our behaviors in response to stress and challenges.

Maggie May said...

I think our children learn to adapt as they go through life.
I don't think resilience can be learnt.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Linda Myers said...

We raise them the best we know and trust they, too, have the resilience gene.

Vagabonde said...

I hope we keep our resilience you know. My husband who, by profession, was an environmentalist (now retired) said years ago that our greatest troubles will be keeping our water drinkable – that there will be so many pollutants that will make us sick. I hope that it won’t be so, but how can resilience help us fight against so much pollution? I read that young children in some wealthy subdivisions have more asthma because there are more SUVs in their neighborhood. They are vulnerable to this increase in air pollution – how resilient are lungs I wonder?