What is resilience? Resilience is the ability of a substance to return to its usual shape after being bent, stretched, or pressed. Applied to humans, this is the ability that allows some people knocked down by the adversities of life to come back at least as strong as before. Applied to mankind, this is the capacity of a system to deal with change and continue to develop.
How to understand resilience?
In 1888, the German philosopher Nietzsche said, “What does not make me die makes me stronger”. This basically means that, regardless the number of difficulties or its complexity, if it does not make you die, then you will survive and become stronger (which happens 99% of the time though). This quote relies more on a passive way to deal with difficulties.
With the term “resilience” comes the idea of an active form of overcoming difficulties. Every person has the capacity to create a circle of positivity in which the good becomes bad, to become good again. This is a pure matter of mind-set. It is not innate, and everybody can learn and improve.
How to apply resilience?
This principle applies to our daily life. For instance, in Sweden it is commonly said that “There is no bad weather, there is only bad clothes”. When the weather is terrible during winter, with long nights lasting 18 hours, you have two options: either you complain your whole life against rainy and snowy days (you can bet that this would take a lot of energy), or you get adapted and positive about it.
The principle also applies to serious topics. At a time when awareness increased towards environmental issues, it has been stated that humans and nature are ineluctably connected. It is a necessity to understand what we did wrong, why and not to dive into pessimism concerning the future of mankind. The energy we used during the past 200 years to plunge into a circle of unconscious destruction can be used to push us out of it.
There is no injunction to be resilient for every difficulty we face in our life, some difficulties are harder than others. But if people manage to increase their personal level of resilience, it will have an impact on our lives on a collective level.
Recycling food, recycling stuff, recycling energy, recycling ourselves is the motto. This is the underpins meaning of the term “resilience”.