Encouraging Imagination and Resilience: Two Opportunities to Learn, Play and Practice
“Educating imaginative, resilient leaders for God’s changing world” is a phrase that is coming to life on the seminary campus, as we engage in visioning, self-assessment, preparation for reaccreditation visits, and curriculum review. As a partner in the learning lifecycle for clergy, educators, church professionals and other leaders, Lifelong Learning has long sought to provide opportunities to spark the imagination, and provide periods of renewal, re-creation and refreshment for church leaders.
A good deal of attention is being paid to how imagination and resilience are nurtured. Dr. Anthony Ong, Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development, Cornell University, has conducted research that leads him to conclude that positive emotions are the basic building blocks of flourishing in the face of adversity. In his article, “A Life Worth Living: The Science of Human Flourishing” Ong concludes “that the notion that positive emotions have adaptive value is no longer contestable, but what precisely this means for individual lives and societies has not been fully appreciated. He adds, “that one thing is for sure: When our positive emotions are in short supply—when we feel hemmed in by negative emotions such as fear and sadness—we become stuck in a rut and painfully predictable. But when our positive emotions are in ample supply—when we feel lifted by the centripetal force of our closest relationships—we take off and become generative, resilient versions of ourselves.”[i]
[i] For more information, visit the Human Development Outreach & Extension website of Cornell University where additional copies of this article and many other resources are available: http://www.human.cornell.edu/che/HD/Outreach_extension/index.cfm