On the school holidays I literally bumped into a man looking through our side gates. When I approached and asked if I could assist him, he explained he was looking for the Church. We got chatting and to my delight, I discovered that he was a visitor from Mexico and here on a working holiday. He was staying with his son (who lives around the corner from our school and who he had not seen for number of years) and was here to present a paper at the University of Western Australia on Resiliency. We exchanged emails and I invited Dr Flores to come back to see me when school started to have a chat about his work. We have since done this and have one more meeting time planned before he leaves for home.
Suffice to say I found the discussion with Dr Flores very interesting and very pertinent to all that we promote and believe here at St Emilie’s.
Dr Flores is a practicing Psychologist, who also directs a non-for-profit organisation which aims to promote greater awareness of resilience as a key factor in empowering individuals and communities into an ever-changing future. He has recently written a book dealing with resiliency in Latin America.
‘Asilient Anomie is a scientific construct made up of 8 variables including: not being able to cope, dependency, low self-esteem, irresponsibility, hopelessness and pessimism, poor sociability and intolerance to frustration. One could call social asilient anomie the opposite of social resiliency. It forms the belief that one cannot realize, reach, or satisfy the majority of their needs or wants, when actually–they can. Asilient Anomie is the opposite of Nomic Resilience, which is constructed by 8 pillars including: coping, autonomy, self-esteem, awareness, responsibility, hope and optimism, intelligent sociability, and frustration tolerance.’
‘Resilience is a word of Latin origin. It comes from a verb meaning to jumb or bounce back, to rebound. In psychology, social psychology and sociology it is not associated with resistance, but to cope adversity and rebuild. It is a capacity to cope adversity and to regain the original state. In physics, resiliency is shock absorption, expressed in kilograms per square centimetre. Although it originates in the area of physics of materials, its use has spread to social and psychological areas. Like social anomie, social resilience is defined by several investigators as an attitude that gives the person or social group an ability. For example, Rutter 1987, defines resilience as the ability to turn adversity into opportunity for challenge, prevent negative stress, and help develop the ability to deal effectively with stress and crisis. It gives the person resilience and adaptability to change.’
Dr Flores maintains that promoting resilience during early education in schools and in families, is absolutely essential. He continues to explore this important area to assist individuals and communities find solutions to feelings of hopelessness and pressing social problems in his country and beyond.
He recently earned his MD degree with honors in Latin American Studies with specialization in Positive Psychology and Resilience.
This encounter has once again reminded me of the importance of staying open – to new people, to new ideas, to lived wisdom, to life…