I am very lucky to work with a staff who are passionate about their work, always seeking to improve, and who are social. Possessing all of these traits, one of my co-workers suggested at the beginning of the year that we should start a book club. We began with a book called “The Hidden Power of Kindness” by Lawrence G. Lovasik, which I won’t be discussing now (perhaps in the Summer?), which we finished about two weeks ago. We’re now starting a second book (which I will be discussing now) called “The Resilience Revolution” by Larry K. Brendtro and Scott J. Larson.
The books reads like a textbook, but is a lot more engaging than many texts I’ve previously read. Indeed, I have to admit that during my undergrad (a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Sociology), I almost always enjoyed the texts we read. However, during my B.Ed. I couldn’t say the same. I feel like it was because I didn’t really see them in context, having done the majority of our theory study before actually participating in practicums and being in a classroom. Now, having been teaching for 5 years, I see books like this in context and find them so much more valuable.
The first chapter talks primarily about pain and acts to humanize “problem” kids and appeal to the reader’s own humanity. It opens with one of the most poignant quotes I can remember coming across is a long time:
“Hurt people hurt people.”
It’s so simple and so accurate that it made me actually pause breathing for a moment just to stare at it a second longer.
In this chapter, the book touches upon the fact that emotional and physical pain register the same way in our brains and we innately go into “survival mode” when we feel threatened. Thus, kids who have experienced either physical or emotional pain are, inevitably, prone to distrust and will use anger, aggression, pushing others away, drugs, etc. as a form of basic human survival.
The more pain a person experiences, the less likely they are to follow social norms of basic kindness and openness when faced with new relationships. This is especially pronounced in youths whose brains are still developing. Just as these kids haven’t developed the social norms of most of their peers, they won’t react to traditional discipline the same way. They don’t care about being punished by someone they don’t respect and who doesn’t show respect to them. Therefore, the best way to install positive change is to show caring and empathy toward troubled youths.
Interested in more? Me too! Chapter two in two weeks!
Want to buy the book? Click here or the title in the first paragraph for the link to Amazon.