Everyone says we are living in times of great change. That uncertainty and stress are an inherent part of everyday life. That we receive too much information that makes us feel impotent and paralyses us to do nothing. What do we think about the state of the world? Most people seem to think we have never been living in worse times. But we are also told that there is now less poverty, more education and less disease than ever before, so why do we feel so pessimistic? Are we in fact living in times of realisation and it is the realisation of our mistakes and our incapacity to remedy them that is causing us undue stress?
How old would you say humankind is if you had to put an age on us? Some research was carried out and the dominant response all over the world was adolescence. So what prompts this reply? Do we need to grow up? It is a painful process puberty, individual or global. How would you stereotype the teenage years? not very well usually, in western culture. We describe teenagers as difficult, selfish, short sighted, egocentric, troubled or conflicted, vulnerable, risk taking, impulsive, unstable. Teenager years are also a time that neuro-science tells us of increased plasticity. We are forging paths of behaviour in our brains and carving our beliefs. Thinking like this it would seem the world needs to be healed and develop some different paths in the planet and in the global brain, So this is the age of resilience if we can manage it and there are little signs that we can.
“Another world is not only possible, she is already on her way. On quiet days I can hear her breathing.” – Arundhati Roy
So why resilience? Resilience is everywhere … in you, your family, school, organisation, club, community, country and the world and beyond. It is in the climate, the environment, the soil, the rivers … but it seems we haven’t been paying too much attention to it and we need to build it up again, just about everywhere. You can start with yourself and the people you connect with. We are all resilient but it is something we need to work on every day like any health or hygiene regime. Some days I liken it to a mobile phone that needs to be re-charged regularly, the tricky thing is we can’t just plug ourselves into the wall to recharge but unlike a mobile phone we don’t break easily. You need to find out how you build your own resilience. Where are the places you go to re-charge your resilience battery. If you forget to re-charge your battery you may not be so ready for the next bump in the road … and there will always be bumps no matter how much we try to tarmac and bridge and tunnel. Resilience teaches us to laugh and enjoy our creativity and most of all be accepted for ourselves. We are never alone and our relationships with other people and our environment are what nurtures us. Empathy feeds our soul and is often the catalyst for real change.
We can keep on shopping at the self care, self help supermarket but we musn’t forget that we are part of something much bigger and there are many ways to feel peaceful, so forgive yourself and be yourself with a bit of resilience.