On 14th June 2020, we got the news of the death of a 34-year old Indian film actor, Sushant Singh Rajput, a man known for his remarkable talent. It’s really unbelievable. One of the best dialogues from his movie ‘Chhichhore’ which actually defines a life lesson – ‘Everyone has a plan what to do after success but by any chance if they fail, no one wants to talk about how to deal with failure.’
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Just a few days back, on 3rd June 2020, I came across a social media post, which mentioned about the suicide of a 14-year old child, Devika Balakrishnan who set herself ablaze in her house as she could not attend an online class run by the school in this Covid-19 era.
Her father was a daily wage worker and they did not have a smartphone. She was not willing to attend the classes which were held in the neighbourhood. She was a very bright child as well as a scholarship winner. In her suicide note, she mentioned that she is leaving and wrote the word ‘death’ all over the book. This incident took place in Malappuram district in Kerala. It was a clear case of depression.
Lack of adaptability and handling mental health issues leads to such a step. The incident kept lingering on my mind for few days.
What is happening to our children and the youth? I am completely speechless and that makes me write this post today.
The reasons of failure and stress, may vary in childhood, adolescence and youth but parents as well as educators have an important responsibility to make the students adaptable as well as resilient right from young age.
Resilience is the inner ability to bounce back and take up greater challenges in life with high spirit even after facing a set of failures. The reasons of failures can be many, similarly the ways to overcome the stress and failure can also be many. If children learn, it will certainly turn out to be an important step towards suicide prevention in the society.
One of the greatest example of resilience is Dr. Abraham Lincoln who endured a steady stream of failure and defeat before becoming the US President. He never gave up even after losing elections for eight times and failing twice in business. We have many such legendary role models like Mother Teresa and Malala whose life journeys are truly inspirational.
Resilience doesn’t mean students would not experience any difficulty and distress, they would certainly do, when they face any major trauma or a personal loss, but we can help them in overcoming stress, anxiety and mental turbulences in various ways.
In our society, people everywhere around have a huge stigma about mental health conversations. They would never admit and open up. Children can be taught that the best way to handle any mental stress issue is by venting it out, rather than ending life so abruptly.
It’s time for educators and parents to recalibrate what the famous writer and businessman, Alvin Toffler said –
“The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
This gives a clear message that one must learn what is important for their brighter future, unlearn everything that brings them nothing but trauma and stress and always relearn, remember and recapitulate what is important for their healthier and happier self.
Resilience is not a magical inner strength, children need nurturing to tackle the tough times.
We have ready to use school workshop plan designed to boost resilience in students (can be conducted online too), check – https://www.holistiquelearning.com/resources/workshop-plans/building-resilience