Resilience is a popular word at the moment. From doctors to environmental activists to bloggers, comes a call for people and communities to be resilient. And with good reason, resiliency is an important characteristic of health: living beings need to be able to experience trauma and recover. The definition of resiliency is the ability to return to original form after being bent or compressed. Think of bamboo swaying and bending in the wind.
Resiliency doesn’t just arise from our internal strengths, although it is often seen as a personal characteristic – the individual who heroically perseveres against all the odds. Unitarian Universalist theology sometimes plays into a sense of heroic resiliency. We reject the idea that human beings are depraved, broken and weak. Instead, we see people not just inherently worthy but also inherently resourceful. But we also know we are stronger together – people who resilient are more likely to have close family and friends who support them. We are inherently resourceful, and one of our most important resources is our connections to one another. Resilience arises as much out of a sense of community support as from within.
Knowing we are not alone can make all the difference in the world. This month we explore what it means to be a people of resilience, how can we help each other when faced with life’s bleakest moments? What can we do to increase ours and others’ sense of resilience?
This month’s Michael Franti song ” Never Too Late” sweetly celebrates the resilience of life and relationships.