3 qualities of super resilient people

The formula for resilience? Hope, grit, and amnesia.

  • Shaka Senghor spent 19 years in prison, seven years of which he was in solitary confinement – a punishment designed to drive a person crazy after 90 days.
  • In his most adverse moments, Senghor took inspiration from the memoirs of great minds, learning resiliency from their words and stories.
  • Resilience boils down to 3 ingredients: Optimism – you have to acknowledge it's a dark period with light at the end; resourcefulness – find aspects of your environment you can use to help you cope; and memory loss – stop replaying memories inside your head. It only holds you hostage.
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Why the Rosenhan Experiment still matters

One flew east, one flew west, eight shrinks flew into the cuckoo's nest.

Photo by Scott Barbour / Getty Images
  • In 1973, eight experimenters faked insanity to see how easy it was to get into a mental hospital. The hard part was getting out.
  • Their findings sparked a great debate over how psychiatry treated patients and how accurate diagnostic procedures were.
  • In an age marked by a lack of proper mental health care, the finding that it was too easy to get a doctor's attention seems shocking.
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Oil execs should be tried for crimes against humanity, essayist Kate Aronoff argues

Climate change is a dire threat, perhaps it is time to put the people who created and denied the problem on trial?

Photo credit: SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP / Getty Images
  • A new essay published in Jacobin argues that the time has come to try the executives of oil companies for crimes against humanity as a result of their actions promoting climate change.
  • There is a legal precedent, as the heads of several German companies were tired for such crimes after WWII.
  • Even if it never comes to pass, discussing the idea could give us a sense of what steps to make the world a greener place are possible.
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Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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Reigning in brutality - how one man's outrage led to the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions

The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.

Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino. Painting by Adolphe Yvon. 1861.
  • Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
  • Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
  • Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
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