Grit takes passion and perseverance, long-term tenacity and the strength to overcome obstacles.
The enemy of grit is ease because grit development requires everyone to face difficulty. To grow grit, your child may need to experience physical challenges, be surrounded by others who demonstrate grit, volunteer their time, be challenged to go the extra mile or “over deliver” — or have to experience a tough situation, such as global health pandemic that requires remote learning!
To help students think about grit and the importance of developing it, have them consider what it takes to “get the toys over the mountain” as explained in the famous children’s story, The Little Engine That Could, published 100 years ago in 1920. No matter your student’s age, this classic, American tale is wonderful for illustrating grit, an intangible aspect of character and leadership. The story details the plight of a long train that must be pulled over a high mountain after its engine breaks down. Large engines are asked to pull the train, and for various reasons, they all refuse. The request for help is sent to a small engine, who agrees to try — and succeeds while repeating its famous mantra: “I think I can. I think I can. I think …”