Almost 100 years ago, a rogue geologist named Alfred Wegener proposed his theory of continental drift. It didn't matter that he was right. He was laughed off the stage. And even though he spent the rest of his career proving his theory, he died unknown. But eventually the theory of continental drift was accepted. Talk about resilience. That's our theme this week and we have ﬁve stories of people discovering resilience and how to become resilient. In Wegenerʼs day, people thought character was like the continents, ﬁxed. Either you were a resilient person or you werenʼt. Today we know we can cultivate resilience. We can all become Wegeners.
Producer: Jonah Willihnganz
Featuring: Jessica Talbert, Jordan Raymond, Michelle Powers, Adina Glickman, Michael Zeligs, Jane Reynolds
Story 1: When I Put On This Suit I Don My True Nature
The narrator of this story of resilience says the country club pool was a place to look hot in your bathing suit. But if you weren't a 16 year old girl's deﬁnition of hot you had some problems. So what do you do? You don your swimsuit and dive in. (Note: this story and Story 4 both came to us from True Story, a storytelling event series and podcast)
It's rare to seek out rejection. But that's what happens every day at the Stanford Call Center. It's a trial by ﬁre if you hate hearing the word no. Who makes it? And who drops out? And just what are you supposed to do when someone answers the phone and tells you they're having sex?
Featuring: Jessica Talbert, Jordan Raymond, Michelle Powers
Story 3: What Will You Want to Have Gotten From This?
Resilience is in fact getting a lot of attention in academic circles. This is because we're discovering that it might be one of the most important things to learn. But how do you teach this to students? Especially Stanford students, for whom rejection is about the most alien experience imaginable.
Sometimes when life is hard, the only thing to do is visit Burning Man. After losing one friend to violence, and with another friend hospitalized with cancer, Michael Zeligs took a trip with his girlfriend to Burning Man. There he found the crying temple.
Resilience is often deﬁned by psychologists as the ability to adapt to adversity. In this story, Jane Reynolds, decides that's a skill she's lacking. She tries to ﬁx it by experimenting with "rejection therapy", which requires her to seek out a rejection every single day.
The Storytelling Project is supported by the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts, the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Stanford Introductory Studies, Stanford Continuing Studies, and the Program in Writing and Rhetoric.