What’s The Best Way To Remember And Heal?
Tell Me More. September 11, 2012
when trauma occurs, it can either be used as something that sort of disrupts life in the form of a traumatic reminder, or it can be used in a healthy way, sort of like when they throw lemons, some people figure out how to make lemonade. How do you turn consciously traumatic helplessness into learned helpfulness is something that I think everybody can learn, because trauma is pretty common.
And these huge disasters are occurring more frequently, but regardless, you’ve got to figure out how to do the traumatic helplessness and shift it to learn helpfulness. So I think it’s a double-edged sword.
… And when we look at the Civil War and Civil War memory, each generation has to figure out, what that event means at any given time.
… BELL: Well, you know, pain is often the shell that encloses understanding, and you’ve got to somehow have enough guts, wisdom to understand that. Because a lot of times, there’s understanding underneath the pain, and Mr. Levin just talked about finding meaning, which is extraordinarily important in dealing trauma.
With trauma, you’ve got to tell the story to somebody who can listen. You’ve got to find meaning, and then you’ve got to find that understanding that’s inside the pain.
BELL: You know, one of the biggest challenges for this nation is how to manage its diversity. And it takes a lot of leadership skills, a lot of soft skills, a lot of emotional intelligence to do that on a very big scale. But there is a phenomenon from trauma called post-traumatic growth, and in post-traumatic growth, people actually learn from these kinds of experiences.