Everyone faces adversity in life. But imagination and creativity support resilience, helping individuals transform life's most challenging obstacles into opportunities for self-awareness and self-expression.
The short film, Everything is Incredible by Tyler Bastian, tells the story of Agustin, a Honduran man born into poverty and living with the debilitating effects of polio in the small mountain town of Siguatepeque. While vaccines have largely eliminated polio worldwide, the lingering impacts of polio, which can include pain, paralysis, and death, remain in those who contracted the disease prior to eradication.
Despite his disabilities, Agustin worked as a shoemaker much of his life, and since 1958, he has been building a helicopter from miscellaneous materials, including bicycle parts, rebar, and wood. Agustin's project is admired by some members of his community and scoffed at by others, but his imagination, creativity, and perseverance help him transcend the judgments of others as well as his own physical disabilities.
What is it that helps some individuals, families, and communities bounce back after a hardship or disaster while others struggle? Psychologists and sociologists have long tried to understand the keys to resilience. According to some researchers, imagination and creativity have a role to play in rebounding from hard times. Dr. Sybil Wolin and Dr. Steve Wolin, authors of "The Resilient Self," identify creativity as a key quality that can help individuals overcome adversity.* While there is no guarantee that creativity or imagination can help one succeed in life, these inner resources can play a supportive role.
Connections to National Standards
Common Core English Language Arts. SL.11-12.1.c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.
Common Core English Language Arts. W.9-10.3 and W.11-12.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies. D2.Geo.4.9-12. Analyze relationships and interactions within and between human and physical systems to explain reciprocal influences that occur among them.