All health and education professionals know children or adolescents who experience situations of tragedy that seem difficult or impossible to overcome. However, reality shows us that having overcome immense misfortunes, they achieve a balanced, creative and even optimistic adult life despite everything.
This type of experience has been lived through history and has been studied in different countries and by different professionals: why don’t those who don’t get sick?
In the 20th century, the round of specialists stopped around the child’s cradle, and the child became the object of science. Each one cuts their cake. The biological child of the pediatrician has nothing to do with the symbolic child of the psychologist, who ignores the child of social institutions and is amazed at the relativity of the historian’s child.
The Second World War generated a true cultural revolution in the observation of children. Already “Anne Freud had noticed that certain children she picked up in the Hampstead nursery, very disturbed, became well-balanced adults” 4. Francoise Dolto confirmed it: “And yet there are human beings whom destiny, or accidents that occurred in the course of childhood, deprived of the presence of the mother, or the mother and father. Their development can be so healthy, with different characteristics, but as solid as that of children who had a complete family structure “5
There are examples of outstanding individuals who made significant contributions to humanity throughout history, who had to endure real adversity during their lives. I will mention two examples that have permanently moved me personally, and they are detailed in the “Manual for the identification and promotion of Resilience,” published in 1998 by the World Health Organization, Rigoberta Menchú and Ana Frank.
Today we can say the following B. Cyrulnik that two words organize how to observe and understand this mystery of those who have triumphed over the scars of the past: resilience and oxymoron.
CONCEPT OF RESILIENCE
The term resiliency was born in physics (reactivity, elasticity); it designated the ability of a body to withstand a shock. But he attached too much importance to substance. When he moved on to the social sciences, it meant “the ability to succeed, to live and develop positively, in a socially acceptable way, despite fatigue or adversity, which often carry a serious risk of negative outcome” 6.
According to Cyrulnik, “the oxymoron is a rhetorical figure that consists of bringing together two antinomian terms the dark clarity” 7.
It is not the ambivalence of the individual to express opposite feelings – love and hate.
The oxymoron becomes characteristic of a wounded but resistant person, suffering but happy to wait despite everything. It is the ability to see the wonder of pain.
Cyrulnik says: “A misfortune is never extraordinary. It is a frozen mud, a black mud, a painful eschar that forces us to choose: submit or overcome. Resilience defines the spring of those who, having received a blow, has been able to overcome it. The oxymoron describes the intimate world of those wounded victors “8.
The concept of resilience is perhaps the opposite of risk, or rather complementary to it.
The risk approach focuses on the disease, the symptom, and characteristics associated with a high probability of biological or social damage. It has been widely used in primary care programs. It is the medical model used by health teams.
The resilience approach is explained by what has been called the resilience model. This shows that hostile forces, expressed as damages or risks, do not find a defenceless child in whom permanent damages are inevitably determined. This model describes the existence of authentic protective shields or resilience factors that will prevent these forces from acting linearly, mitigating their effects and even transforming them into factors for overcoming a difficult situation.
Therefore, these approaches should not be interpreted as in opposition, but rather that they complement and enrich each other when analyzing reality and designing effective interventions.
CONCEPT OF RESILIENCE
This led to a change of approach, and they began to think more positively, what to do so that people do not get sick? Why do they not get sick, those who do not get sick? How to stimulate resilience factors? And this is how health promotion arose, which is before prevention, promoting lifestyles, recognizing the importance of everything that refers to the integral development of the child, programs that tend to improve the global living conditions of beings humans rather than avoiding specific harm. Hence, the concept of resilience has aroused great interest for research.
Its application in different programs. Although initially it was born from social psychology, it has expanded to sociology, and educational sciences, which is where it is being used the most, and some countries are considering a complete renewal of the programs based on this concept.
They stay calm in high-pressure situations.
Women doing meditation by the sea
We all go through difficult times throughout our lives, and the important thing is to know how to stay calm when they arise. Resilient people can be centred and calm when they find themselves in a situation of momentary chaos and confusion.
They are like firm bulwarks, sustained amid a storm, no matter how much the wind and waves attack them. The truth is that it is not easy at all.
They are realistic
Much and badly has been said about optimism, generating the global idea that being positive implies denying certain aspects of reality that are unavoidable and present in many people’s lives. They are realistic but always hope for the best, and it is the best way to describe the characteristic optimism of resilient people.
Always hoping for the best does not necessarily mean that the expected optimal result always occurs, but that whatever happens, the resilient person will learn a lesson that will help them grow. Turn adversity into an opportunity for learning and personal growth