Don't Waste a Crisis
Crises, while unwanted, are windows of opportunity for the Cure of Souls.
Imagine you're handed a script of your newborn child's entire life. Better yet, you're given an eraser and five minutes to edit out whatever you want. You read that she will have a learning disability in grade school. Reading, which comes easily for some kids, will be laborious for her. In high school, she will make a great circle of friends, then one of them will die of cancer. After high school, she will get into her preferred college, but while there, she'll lose a leg in a car crash. Following that, she will go through a difficult depression. A few years later she'll get a great job, then lose that job in an economic downturn. She'll get married, but then go through the grief of separation.
With this script of your child's life before you and five minutes to edit it, what would you erase? Psychologist Jonathan Haidt poses this question in this hypothetical exercise: Wouldn't you want to take out all the stuff that would cause them pain?
If you could erase every failure, disappointment, and period of suffering, would that be a good idea? Would that cause them to grow into the best version of themselves? Is it possible that we actually need adversity and setbacks—maybe even crisis and trauma—to reach the fullest level of development and growth?
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