“Our history does not determine our destiny,” stated Boris Cyrulnik, author of Resilience: How Your Inner Strength Can Set You Free From the Past. Resilience can come from many places in a person, but when looking at the nature versus nurture perspective, it is nature that most strongly determines how resilient a person will be, and not based quite as much upon how they were nurtured. As Cyrulnik said, it is not our history, in other words, not how we’ve been previously nurtured, that determines what we will become, or how resilient we will be in times of trial.
Before discussing the idea of how nature applies to the idea of resilience, it is important to first understand what resilience is. Cyrulnik defined this word as such: “The ability to succeed, to live in a positive and socially acceptable way, despite the stress or adversity that would normally involve the real possibility of a negative outcome.” (Cyrulnik, 1999.) this means that when a person goes through a hardship in their life, they continue to live normally instead of allowing it to affect their lives in a bad way. One important point that the textbook Invitation to Lifespan Psychology brought up was that “adversity must be significant” in order for a person to be considered resilient. (Berger, 2010.) therefore, when discussing resilience, the problem that a person has to overcome must be major/life-changing for it to be considered resilience when it is overcome.
While nurture may have an impact on how resilient a person can be, it is their nature that truly determines this. Cyrulnik gave an example of how two hundred children were at “serious parental and social risk.” (Cyrulnik, 1999.) Out of those 200 children, 130 of them had serious mental and emotion issues in their lives decades later. However, that left 70 children that went on to lead completely normal lives. If this were to be looked at from the perspective of nurture being the key role in how resilient a child will be, it hardly makes...
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