Resilience Group Guide

Volume IX, Number IV

Artwork by Haemaru Chung

We all face challenges and change, falls and failure. Now more than ever, resilience is crucial to thriving in our world. In this issue of KidSpirit, young contributors plumb the depths of their experiences to explore the strength of the human spirit. Join them on their quest to understand what lies behind our drive to persevere, and be inspired to discover your own inner strength.

1. Vanita Sharma takes on the Editorial Board’s Big Question, “Why Are We Resilient?” Read her response and contemplate the challenges you’ve faced in your life. Can you recall a time you encountered a setback? How did it make you feel? Did you try again to achieve your goal? Why or why not? Would you do anything differently now? Write down 3 pieces of advice you would share with someone facing the same obstacle for the first time. Can any of these insights help you the next time something doesn’t go as planned?

2. In her Awesome Moments article “Disorder or Cure,” Sophia Yin describes how a physical illness unexpectedly taught her to be mentally stronger. Ultimately, she finds that her greatest weakness was a failure to be true to herself, and resolves to pay more attention to her own passions, instead of her peers’ opinions. What are some pursuits or hobbies that are most important to you? Think of 5 activities that you truly enjoy. How does each of them make you feel? Do you make time for all of them? Why or why not? Come together as a group and pool your lists. What can you learn from the variety of interests represented? How do you think this variety contributes to your community?

3. “Each time the child peered / Darkness met his gaze / Daring him to venture further / He scrambled backwards…” Did you ever feel terror at the thought of monsters living under your bed? Was there a time when being alone in the dark gave you the creeps? Read Haemaru Chung’s poem “The Abyss Under the Bed” and try to remember your earliest fear. Did you ever overcome it? How? Then, think of something you are afraid of now. Are there any similarities between your childhood worry and your current one? Do you think there are any parallels in how you can face and move past them?

4. Nick Stuart, acclaimed filmmaker, president of Odyssey Networks, and this issue’s PerSpectives author, has traveled all over the world interviewing people who have faced incredible hardship. As he writes in his article “Resilience,” he has been inspired by individuals from all walks of life who continue to work towards love and justice in the face of pain and tragedy. Is there someone in your life who embodies strength and perseverance? Why do you consider them an example of resilience? How do you think they cultivate inner strength?