Bit of a gap there, sorry, but as Darwin supposedly said, ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, but the one most adaptable to change,’ and though I meant to write my next blog sooner, I have simply had to be flexible as I have both been moving house and, happily, arranging for my book, working title, ‘The Significance Delusion’, to be published.
Watch this space….for now three months of editing and tidying the work up, but it will be worth the wait. Promise. Lots, lots more of, and about, the ideas that this blog can only really touch the surface of.
So – as you were. I was about to go on to talk about those other words that I ‘binned’ at the Festival of Education back in June; and also about Resilience itself. What Resilience truly is.
Today, I shall take a quick look at the combined forces of happiness and positive thinking, the leitmotifs of so much educational theorising of the day. I binned both words because, to me, they less practical goals that we should aspire to than fantasy concepts, ones that are largely the accidental by products of an occidental world view. A utopian world view that re imagines the Biblical Eden into a perfectible childhood. A nice, cosy, essentially rather middle class, childhood.
It’s not that I’m anti happiness, or anti being positive in life, far from it. But I am anti the idealisation of such states of being, as I am of pursuing them simply for their own sakes, as ends in themselves. If, on the other hand, they are the by- products of a more rounded and grounded way of living, then that is a different matter altogether.
To burden people with the idea that they should always be happy, and if not should feel less successful than others, is just another form of emotional bullying. It’s not even as if such goals lead to the end result they promise – in fact the pursuit of happiness has been shown to lead to the reverse state, one of depression and sense of failure. You can read more on this in my book, but just trust me for now. And anyway, could we really wish that Shakespeare’s life, or Beethoven’s, or Alan Turing’s for that matter, had been so full of personal happiness and positivity that they had felt no need to extend themselves, or ‘to take arms against a sea of troubles’ in such powerful and creative ways.
No, we shouldn’t focus too much effort on ‘feeling states’ – that’s another form of self- absorption. Let’s aim to build the resilience to deal with the much more complicated (and often interesting) conditions that we may have to live with.
That way lies greater satisfaction anyway. So, next time I mean to take a look at what resilience really is.
THERAPY, COUNSELLING AND RESILIENCE TRAINING FOR MANAGING COMMUNICATION AND BEHAVIOUR DIFFICULTIES