Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Emotional development: critical to your life

"A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for."
- Grace Murray Hopper

A ship in port is safe from fast acting harm. But not from slow damage, such as from rust, corrosion, sun damage or drying up or clogging with dust of lubricants that help machinery to operate.

So it is with human bodies. Those who seek to protect themselves from harm (of the fast acting type) from others remain safe, but eventually build walls around their lives so that their world is little more than a few rooms, a workplace and a conduit between the two.

Life is a risky business. It was designed that way so that survivors would become more skilled, more sensititive to their surroundings, more aware of other life and how to interact with it.

Those who close themselves off from risk shut themselves off from life. They destroy their own lives just as surely as if they smoked three packs of cigarettes each day.

The secret to risk is not in avoiding it or in facing it, but in learning how to cope with it while still having a life that is independent from the risk.

Learning how to cope with risk and hardship is part of our emotional development. We need coaching with that, just as we need coaching with our intellectual development (which we get in schools), our physical development (which we get with sports and various other activities) and our social development (which is underedeveloped for many people because it is not guided from any source).

Emotional development is one of the major streams of development of life. If we do not develop strength in this part of our lives, we will have problems coping with problems and tragedies that confront us.

As with the other streams of development, emotional development must begin in childhood. If it doesn't begin there for a child, that person will have problems throughout his or her life.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to have coaching for emotional development taught to parents and by teachers. Learn more at

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