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Communicating Hope and Resilience Across the Lifespan


Gary A. Beck and Thomas Socha

From serious illness to natural disasters, humans turn to communication as a major source of strength to help us bounce back and to keep growing and thriving.
Communicating Hope and Resilience Across the Lifespan addresses the various ways in which communication plays an important role in fostering hope and resilience. Adopting a lifespan approach and offering a new framework to expand our understanding of the concepts of «hope» and «resilience» from a communication perspective, contributors highlight the variety of «stressors» that people may encounter in their lives. They examine connections between the cognitive dimensions of hope such as self-worth, self-efficacy, and creative problem solving. They look at the variety of messages that can facilitate or inhibit experiencing hope in relationships, groups, and organizations. Other contributors look at how communication that can build strengths, enhance preparation, and model successful adaptation to change has the potential to lessen the negative impact of stress, demonstrating resilience.
As an important counterpoint to recent work focusing on what goes wrong in interpersonal relationships, communication that has the potential to uplift and facilitate responses to stressful circumstances is emphasized throughout this volume. By offering a detailed examination of how to communicate hope and resilience, this book presents practical lessons for individuals, marriages, families, relationship experts, as well as a variety of other practitioners.


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Chapter One. Embracing the Insights of “Murphy”: New Frontiers of Communication, Hope, and Resilience Across the Lifespan ([Gary A. Beck] [Thomas J. Socha])


• C H A P T E R O N E • Embracing the Insights of “Murphy”: New Frontiers of Communication, Hope, and Resilience Across the Lifespan Gary A. Beck Thomas J. Socha Old Dominion University urphy’s law is a commonly expressed adage; “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” While most cannot help to say this phrase untainted by a dour tone, the story of its origin stands in stark posi- tive contrast. Its namesake is World War II Air Force engineer, Captain Ed- ward A. Murphy. The phrase is said to reflect one of the key principles that guides the careful process of fine-tuning the functioning of complex airplanes (Spark, 2006). The quality control that goes into aircraft design is a demand- ing and clearly essential process requiring high degrees of precision, regardless of outside pressures such as an ongoing war. Final responsibility for the opti- mal functioning of these modern miracles rests with teams of engineers, me- chanics, and pilots who must tirelessly check and recheck their work with the understanding that even minor errors can lead to catastrophic losses of life and property. A pilot friend of the second author of this chapter summarized it this way, “There are no service stations in the sky.” Although Murphy’s mantra of imagining the worst and guarding against it is brought into particu- lar relief in the production and maintenance of airplanes, it extends to all sorts of modern day vehicles from cars to elevators, as well as to medical pro-...

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