Among her many impressive achievements, Lucy Hone, PhD, is an academic researcher studying resilience science.
Not long ago, she suffered the most devastating personal loss a parent can imagine.
Below you can watch Dr. Hone’s brief and invaluable TEDx talk that offers scientific tactics and her own living example of how to become antifragile (not merely resilient) to the inevitable ordeal of inner suffering that results from a life-changing tragedy.
Every person on Earth should listen to her. Eventually we will all need to know and practice what she reveals here.
Assuming you’ve listened to her speech now (if you haven’t, please listen to it when you have time), can you recall Lucy Hone’s three scientific strategies for dealing with suffering?
This summary doesn’t do justice, but it should help transfer this vital information from your short-term memory into your long-term knowledge base. Here are the three things to remember…
- Adversity doesn’t discriminate. “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons [and daughters] of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” – The Nazarene. Lucy says that we need to face and accept the fact that unspeakably horrendous things naturally happen to everyone. Having this realistic knowledge immunizes you against the devastating feeling that you’ve been treated unfairly by God (or by random fate) when your time arrives to suffer. “Resilient people get that ‘shit happens.’ They know that suffering is part of life.” – Lucy Hone, PhD
- Accept the good. With reference to the future, develop a habit of differentiating the things you can change from the things you can’t change. Then choose to focus on things you can change. Choose not to dwell on things you cannot change, but instead, try to accept them as unchangeable. Or at least open yourself to the concept and the feeling of accepting unchangeable negatives rather than battling them in rumination. Regarding the past, deliberately focus on things you can be thankful for, no matter how small they may seem when compared to your immense loss. “Resilient people are really good at choosing carefully where they select their attention. They have a habit of realistically appraising situations and typically managing to focus on the things they can change, and somehow accepting the things that they can’t. This is a vital, learnable skill…. Being able to also focus your attention to the good has been shown by science to also be a powerful strategy. … Make an intentional, deliberate, ongoing effort to tune in to what’s good in your world.” – Lucy Hone, PhD
- Become your own north-star GPS. “Resilient people ask themselves, ‘Is what I’m doing helping or harming me?’ … This was my go-to question after the girls died. I would ask it again and again. … This one strategy has prompted more positive feedback than any other. Asking yourself whether what you’re doing, the way you’re thinking, the way you’re acting is helping or harming you puts you back in the driver’s seat. It gives you some control of your decision making.” – Lucy Hone, PhD
It’s interesting to note that Lucy trained under Martin Seligman, the eminent psychologist who, among other achievements, brought us the concept of learned helplessness.
Like the experimental animals who were taught that nothing they could do would ever make a difference to their sufferings in the laboratory, young people in the Western educational systems are taught (as a corollary to the pseudoscience of “scientific” materialism) that they have no free will. This implies that humans are “scientifically” helpless in the face of suffering. Everything is predetermined in the force-fed academic doctrine. This brainwashing of young minds promotes learned helplessness as the integral truth of the human condition.
Everyone knows firsthand that suffering is real, but our schools insist that free will is a false illusion. All we can do is react in a predictable and inevitable way with no personal control, only a cruel illusion of agency.
And yet the cutting-edge science of resilience to human suffering calls for choices, the very use of the free will that we’re told does not exist. The ability we innately know we possess, to choose constructively and act upon our decisions, is stripped from the worldviews of young people in today’s schools. This is abuse, carried out by dedicated, well-meaning people who are unable or unwilling to recognize their mistake, their massive, lethally toxic mistake…
With well over 40,000 people committing suicide each year in the US alone, it’s beyond the time for each of us to insist that tax-funded schools allow our sons and daughters to learn at least one alternative paradigm to “scientific” materialism. And to learn about it in an atmosphere that doesn’t ridicule it the way UFO’s are ridiculed in academia. Preferably students might hear of something congruent with the human experience…
For instance, they might be taught by example to respect rather than detest the theory that we live in a meaningful Universe where information, consciousness and intelligence are as foundational to the list of nature’s building blocks as matter and energy, if not more fundamental and irreducible.
If we are to take seriously the science of resilience, then believing in free will is a matter of mental health and coping with adversity.
Share these ideas and this post with every young person you know. Give them hope and some tools to survive the suffering and depression that comes to virtually everyone nowadays.
Morrill Talmage Moorehead, MD