KIPP Schools, Success Academies, Democracy Prep and any number of other "no excuses" schools are not developing true grit and resilience other than the numb grit required to endure humiliation and the resilience necessary to get up and go to school every day.
Recent international research suggests for some smokers, just trying to quit again, without recovering from a failed attempt, contributes to what they call "cessation fatigue." According to this research, there is a generalized capacity to quit, but that capacity needs to regenerate between tries.
One year ago, Tamus Alam, a small farmer, donated a parcel of land for us to set up an educational center called SEEKHO in Bishanpur Village, Bihar. Upon donating the land, he said, 'what counts is what we do, not what we have.'
Only a few days earlier I had driven my leased car to the dealer and handed them the keys, and I had no idea how I was going to pay rent that month. Maybe I was crazy, but then again dreamers always look a little crazy to those that have forgotten how to dream.
The reason many of us retreat from social involvement is not that we think all is well with the world. Rather, what leaves too many of us sitting on the sidelines is what psychologists call learned helplessness.