Curiosity is necessary for resilience. Resilience is necessary for survival.
Broad statements, I know.
All three of my boys used to attend a parent participation preschool, St. Giles. That’s where I heard a talk on “Resilience and Tears of Futility” that has captivated me ever since. Psychologist and Counsellor, Dr. Deborah McNamara, argued that we need to let our children grieve when they face futility in life so that they can pick themselves up and change course when a door is clearly shut. This is a key life skill that we all need carry into adulthood because we will all inevitably face futility.
According to Dr McNamara, when a child learns that he cannot have a cookie before dinner (that’s futility), he must grieve its loss and engage his innovation to find something else to do or eat before dinner. Take that into adulthood. If you’re job searching and you don’t get the position you want because they’ve hired someone more qualified, you must grieve its loss and engage your innovation to find and apply for other jobs or to improve your skill sets and make yourself more marketable for that position.
For both the child and the adult, moping, having a temper tantrum, wallowing in self- pity or throwing your hands up in pathetic desolation are not healthy or viable solutions.
This applies to every arena in life because, no matter how I hate to say it, loss is ubiquitous. I will (gently) spell it out: yes, you are bound to meet up with at least one or two shut doors in this lifetime. Be bummed out or rebound. Two choices.
The spirit of innovation and learning does not come naturally to me but I think it is vital for developing resilience. So I admire learners, problem solvers and question askers. That’s why the anti-narcissist is a curious one.