Be Prepared….

It was in 1907 that Robert Baden-Powell wrote that to be prepared meant “you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your duty.”Baden-Powell was an English Soldier who’s idea, as stated in the Scouting Magazine, was ‘Scouts should prepare themselves to become productive citizens and strong leaders and to bring joy to other people. He wanted each Scout to be ready in mind and body and to meet with a strong heart whatever challenges await him’.

Now if the ideas of Alfred Adler are incorporated, then the attention turns to more about an individual being preparing for what ‘life’ can and does throw at them. Furthermore, Adler’s “Individual Psychology” proposes that the critical years during which this preparation (through life experiences) takes place are the first 4-5 years of a individual’s life. It is the early life experiences, including the nature of parental behaviour, both toward the infant and between parents, along with other social factors an infant is exposed to, that determines how well prepared a child is for their life ahead, according Adler.

But of course, knowing whether a child is suitably prepared or not may only be realised when they are launched into life, which includes entering pre-school.

When the child’s experience of life outside of the home meets with their expectations, which will be based on all the previous experiences they have encountered up to that point, all will remain calm and they will stay ‘afloat’.

The trouble begins when they start to encounter unexpected obstacles. A gentle breeze picks up and suddenly they experience a few small waves. However, even at that stage, there may not be any significant outward signs of trouble. Small amounts of ‘water’ may start to seep in, but that is easily managed, especially if they have been launched into the social world with a few skills on board. They learn to respond appropriately and there will be no significant repercussions.

If on the other hand an internal storm brews up, because of continuing obstacles, and the individual experiences choppy waters, it is highly likely that there will be more visible signs of a lack of preparedness.

Over the last year, we have all been living through turbulent times, experiencing many challenges. I am personally extremely thankful to ALL the wonderful people in our world, who have, in Adler’s words, been “contributing to others” and who through ‘being prepared’ have a significant “social interest”.