Ms. Cannon placed a large poster high on the wall above our 4th grade classroom — a grid with numbers 0 through 12 written both across and down. Kids may not do it this way today, but this was the 80’s, and my classmates and I had to memorize the multiplication tables. Over the months that followed, we all did it.
Ms. Cannon was a beloved teacher, but the math itself obviously didn’t depend on her. 12 times 12 is 144 no matter who teaches it. Great teachers deftly balance their own insignificance at the subject level with their extreme significance at the student level. Human learning isn’t just about the transfer of information. People of all ages learn best when coached through mistakes, celebrated through successes, and encouraged to keep going as part of a community.
The Resilience Academy is like a virtual version of Ms. Cannon’s classroom, but the focus is something less common. That thing has been dressed in spiritual or clinical clothing, but at its heart it’s very practical — the transformational experience of seeing a challenge through new eyes, and then taking action from a place of greater calm, clarity, and insight.
When done correctly and regularly, the result is happier individuals, stronger marriages, closer families, higher-performing teams, and a society drawn together by empathy instead of pulled apart by anger. This doesn’t give harmful behaviors a pass — it gives them a context, and it gives you a way to make change more attractive to those you think need it most.
But it starts with learning the basics, just like we had to do in Ms. Cannon’s classroom. In this case, it’s not the “times tables,” but the real dynamics of stress, resilience, and change, and the surprising strength and humility that come from mastering this.
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