Resilience in Children – Let it Flourish

WellTwo children (10 and 12 years) are friends and living in the same village. One day, they were playing in some open ground near a well – a serene area that is little bit far from the village. The top level of the well is close to the ground. All of a sudden, the 12-year-old boy fell down the well. There was no one except his 10-year-old friend to help and get him out of the well. The child was nearly submerged in the well. His 10-year-old friend saw a bucket with some rope which is used to draw water from the well. He quickly decided to drop the bucket inside the well. He loudly told the older boy to hold the bucket tight. The younger child started to pull the rope slowly, with a steady grasp. Finally, he was able to pull his friend from the well. They were very happy and hugged each other; then happiness turned into tears. The younger boy felt proud to be able to save the life of his friend. The older boy realized the meaning of true friendship.

They returned back home. They were uncertain whether to share the incident with their neighbours and parents. Seeing their wet clothes, one of the neighbours sensed something unusual and asked them the reason behind the wet clothes. The children became nervous.  Finally they were forced to share the incident. They told the whole story of the incident in order. Many villagers gathered around them.

The crowd laughed at the children. They started asking several questions like – how did the child fall in the well? How did the other child pull him out? etc and bullied them. The crowd reached the conclusion that the story the children shared was a fake story. They thought that it was not possible for a child to pull out another child of the same age group from a deep well. They also thought that the children must have made a blunder and tried to divert the situation from the reality.

“Oh! No!” an old wrinkle-faced woman said loudly in the crowd. She asked the crowd to stop teasing the children. She was a much-respected woman in their society. At that moment there was a pin drop silence. The woman said that it is not a question of how it was possible – the poor children had already explained how one child had saved the life of another. But the important question is why it was possible – why was one child able to pull out another child from the deep well? She raised the question to the crowd. She then said that it was possible because in that particular situation, adults were not around and the children had no option other than trying by themselves. She added that if adults had been there, then they would have discouraged the child by saying that he was not able to do it, and they would have told him not to do it. During that situation, the child could never realize his inherent capacity. He could never believe in himself or find the strength in himself.

The child was able to use his inner potential to save the life of his friend, which he could not have usually done in front of the community. Every child is unique and each has an intrinsic capacity, as the gift of Nature, to cope with the adversity. That is called resilience. Let us support children to let it flourish.