вторник, 17 ноября 2015 г.

Optimism as the Condition of Survival

Some scientists predict that the XXI century will be the century of the epidemic of pessimism. The tragical events which happened in the world recently; the huge negative information stream; the daily problems influence not only our mood but also our perception of the world. When there are a lot of negative moments in the life it is very easy to meet with despair, to cease to do something in your work and your creativity, it is easy to give up all. However, do you remember the words of the poet who said that the historical times in which we live and die cannot be chosen... (A.Kushner)? Each generation meets with difficulties. And it is necessary to cultivate the optimism in the children since their early childhood – it is the condition of survival. Yes, optimism. I do not mean superficial displays of this important quality such as a smile, laughter, loud voice, etc. "Optimism" is the concept and the condition deeper than the simple external attributes.

Optimism is the internal confidence of the person that he/she will be able to cope with problems, to overcome difficulties, optimism is the hope for the best future for which you must do something. 
It is considered that optimists are more successful in learning, they adapt to various social conditions better and, accordingly, they have fewer problems with health than others.  So, to bring up children as optimists is necessary.
But is it possible?
Certainly, the children study pessimism or optimism, according to their social experience: through interactions with parents, tutors, teachers and other agents of socialisation. There are external and internal factors of optimism which are closely interconnected. 
The external factors include the socio-historical context, which gives the vector of the complete understanding of the child in the society in a concrete historical period, and also the attitude of adults and peers toward children.
Whether pessimism/optimism dominates in the society in the certain historical period, whether we look at the children as on problems or as on our reasons for happiness - all these conditions define, whether we see the children as our future and what social installations we have and our children will have.
Words, which adults say to the child (or even among themselves), estimating the world around and estimating child, can help him or her to overcome difficulties, or, on the contrary, to ‘break’ his or her internal potential.  
External factors are closely interconnected with the internal factors, such as fears and attributive style.
The majority of us trusts that bad events make us operate according to the situations. But our internal installations define the style of actions in various circumstances. Analyzing the results of researches, statements of children, it is easy to come to the conclusion, that we can see "global" fears of children (the fear of loneliness, the fear of to be lost, etc.) in the concrete situations: for example, because of the present fear of loneliness the child perceives the situation when nobody wishes to play with him or her very painfully. And in this case, it is important, how the child will explain this event.
How we explain the positive or negative incidents of the life to ourselves is the factor which directly specifies, how we can cope with various troubles. The given phenomenon is called attributive style or «the style of an explanation». When the child has a positive attribute style it will be easy for him or her to overcome obstacles  («I will find friends », « I will cope with all difficulties»); when the child has a negative attributive style it will be more difficult for him or her to operate in a negative situation, since even any an insignificant failure can become significant in the perception of the child.
But can the child understand and explain different events? Last researches have proved that children are not only capable of reflecting what they think, but they do it very well. Children are capable of explaining what feelings they have, why they have such feelings, what is good for them and what not. If the child does not want to answer direct questions, the various fantastic heroes, toys, etc. can become intermediaries in the dialogue.
We should talk to children and discuss with them various events of the different nature of origin. It is necessary to remember that the optimism does not exclude an opportunity to be sad or to be in a bad mood sometimes. But this quality of the character helps to cope with obstacles. 
Sometimes bad things happen, but the qualities which were raised in the person in the childhood can give to this person the forces to live.

More information about the optimism is in the article by the author:

P.S. I was born on September, 11th, but I celebrate the Birthday on September 12th or 13th.
Please do not sell, post,  publish, or distribute all or any part of this article without author's permission.

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