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Children are sensitive. Their brains are developing until their mid-twenties, making them ripe for memory input and formation. What children learn in school has the potential to change and shape their lives for the rest of their lives. There is often great controversy and debate about what children are taught in school and what they are learning. Many people, rightfully, want to protect children and nurture their innocence as long as possible. Unfortunately, data shows that most children are having adverse childhood experiences at higher rates. As a result children are experiencing and living through some of life’s most difficult truths. Children are resilient, capable of understanding complex information, and are often more adept at compassion than adults.

At The Tribeca Film Festival this year, Steven Spielberg held a screening of Schindler’s List, in honor of the 25th anniversary of the award winning movie. Detailing in haunting accuracy the Holocaust, Spielberg’s film was accompanied by a documentary series, interviewing survivors of the Holocaust. Some schools use these films as educational materials to emphasize the hope that history should never have to repeat itself.

Both Spielberg and one of the film’s lead actors Liam Neeson spoke about the trauma of filming and acting out one of the most traumatic events in history. Hollywood Reporter cites Spielberg as saying, “That aesthetic distance we always talk about between audience and experience? That was gone. And that was trauma. There was trauma everywhere. And we captured that trauma. You can’t fake that.”

Spielberg emphasized that the stories of Holocaust survivors and the story of the Holocaust itself should be required as part of a high school curriculum. These stories can be traumatizing to those who watch them, especially students who have experienced severe trauma in their young lives.

However, the average American school curriculum is not free from trauma. Many of the required readings in high school have traumatic parts. Some schools have incorporated the reading of Maus, a graphic novel using mice as the main characters who are living through the Holocaust. Other stories involve death, abuse, abandonment, and all kinds of adverse experiences. Extreme trauma like the Holocaust can be too much for any one person to bear, including adults. Should these stories be taught in school? Are they necessary for life?

Trauma will happen to most people throughout their lifetimes. How people react and respond to trauma will vary. Few people will fully develop a diagnosis of PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, but most will have some sort of life changing response to the trauma they have experienced. With education, awareness, compassion, and empathy, the kind of trauma experienced during the Holocaust never has to be experienced again.

As movements like #MeToo have shown, stories can heal trauma and inspire recovery from trauma for others. The more we can tell stories of overcoming adversity, the more we can inspire humanity to overcome adversity.

You can overcome the adversity in your life. You can recover from trauma, addictions, or any other mental health issues which have manifested as a result of trauma. The Guest House Ocala specializes in trauma treatment, providing concierge residential treatment from the comforts of a private luxury estate in Ocala, Florida. Call us today for information: 1-855-483-7800