And how does this come into the teaching of Jesus?
Resilience, the ability to bounce back and survive setbacks, is a much-desired quality. What does it take? How might these factors inform the way we teach the young? And how were such factors present in the teaching of Jesus, which has endured so long and so vibrantly? These are among the questions that American Christian Brother Patrick Sean Moffett explores in his article The Resilience of the Disciple in the current issue of HUMAN DEVELOPMENT.
Recent research into youthful trauma survivors has indicated five contributing factors, named in this article as “purpose, belonging, agency, self-esteem, and humor”. Sean presents a ‘casita’ (‘little house’) model - adapted from earlier work by Stefan Vanistendael of BICE (International Catholic Child Bureau) - in which purpose and belonging are assigned to the ground floor, agency and self-esteem to the upstairs level, and humour to the attic.
The upstairs floor is seen as the place of the more private and reflective factors. Agency is described as a sense of ‘can do’, of experienced personal effectiveness. This is what enables the resilient to “attempt alternative solutions, enter new paths and persist in spite of resistance”. Self-esteem arises from being accepted, valued, and relied upon by others. Just as agency is portrayed in the model as standing upon purpose, so self-esteem is shown resting upon belonging.
The attic, with its insulation and ventilation functions, is portrayed as the place of humour. That lightening sense of perspective which offers playful release is found to be “a recurring element in the accounts of the resilient”.
The full article may be read in the Summer 2010 edition of HUMAN DEVELOPMENT (Volume 31 No. 2) which is now also available online. To order an on-line subscription (at $24 for a year, from any country, payable by credit card) go to www.humandevelopmentmag.org or order a postal subscription ($49 in USA, $53 foreign, payable by credit card or in US dollars drawn on a US Bank) from PO Box 3000, Dept HD, Denville NJ 07834.
Brother Patrick Sean Moffett, a contributor to HUMAN DEVELOPMENT and several other publications, was featured in a Profile on this website recently – see RECENT PROFILES.