Grit versus silt

Grit or silt. For some people, their own bad experience, or even that of their ancestors, becomes fuel for their own effort to achieve their goals. For others, that personal or inherited trouble stops all progress and even introduces more. What is the difference between these people? Can you choose to be one and not the other? Can you teach it? Two pieces do a nice job of looking at such questions. In Angela Duckworth’s TED talk, she pursues how to teach grit. In Grandma’s experiences leave epigenetic mark on your genes, Dan Hurley looks at the reverse idea, that your great grandparents’ holocaust or potato famine lives on in you, possibly making you react as anxiously as if it were your own crisis.

This is fascinating to me when considering not just the students I teach, but the literary characters I am drawn to. Which side will they land on when crisis hits? Grit or silt?