TEDx star Hunt to emphasise resilience
Charles Hunt had problems in his childhood, but it taught him a lot about resilience.
Mr Hunt, who is due to speak this morning at an Adverse Childhood Experiences conference at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, said that people needed to help one another to deal with their personal traumas.
He said: “It's creating awareness and an opportunity to serve those in need. And being present.
“One of the things I try to pride myself on is showing up for my assignment, whatever that assignment is.
“Giving my talk is showing up for my assignment. There is somebody or somebodies who may hear something that I'm supposed to deliver that is going to help them in their situation or help someone else through their situation.
He added: “As a community, it's about showing up and being present for whatever assignment we have for our community.”
Mr Hunt was born and raised in Oakland, California, at a time when the area had high unemployment among black men, high poverty rates and a drug epidemic.
He became the first member of his family to graduate from university and now has a master's degree in business.
His challenges in life had taught him to be tough.
Mr Hunt said: “Resilience is something that is a natural asset for everyone. It's not just for those who experience trauma, but none of us are immune to the effects or impacts of life.
“As such, we are going to encounter some adversity, some delta between the state we would like to be in versus the reality we end up with.
“Resilience is really how we handle that delta in between.”
He added: “There are people who have had to experience unspeakable tragedies who have found a way to take those events in stride, even if they were excruciatingly painful.
“They find a way to own what happened to them and use that adversity for some greater purpose or to find the power within themselves to overcome.”
Mr Hunt said that people could learn to become more resistant to adversity.
He said: “You can be more resilient depending on the circumstances, but we all have the opportunity to grow it and that starts in the mind.
“It's what we tell ourselves about what happens to us.
“One of my pet phrases to oversimplify things is we are as resilient as we think we are. It's what we tell ourselves about what's happening to us in real time.”
Mr Hunt said the ability to find a reason for life's problems was a key to overcoming them.
He said: “The most resilient people among us will identify some reason or attribute, some reason to that.
“Upon finding that, they can use that towards the betterment of themselves and others.”
Mr Hunt added: “One of the most important pieces for me, was recognising that other people — partnership — is vital.
“It serves as a safety net for us when we are in freefall emotionally. When we are not necessarily thinking correctly or giving ourselves the affirming or positive message that we need.
“It's the people around us. Those people who can rally around you and get you reoriented in the direction we need to go.”
• Charles Hunt speaks today at 11am at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club