If there was a single question that you can ask someone to measure how resilient they’re going to be, you ask them what are you responsible for?-says Eric Greitens, author of Resiliency: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life.
When the world is storm-driven and the bad that happens and the worse that threatens are so urgent as to shut out everything else from view, then we need to know all the strong fortresses of the spirit which men have built through the ages—Edith Hamilton.
Resilience is the virtue that enables people to move through hardship and become better. No one escapes pain, fear and suffering. Yet from pain can come wisdom, from fear can come courage, from suffering can come strength–if we have the virtue of resilience.
Choose to live a resilient life
To be resilient–to build a full and meaningful life of stength, wisdom, and joy–is not easy.
But it’s not complicated. We can all do it.
To get there, it’s not enough to want to be resilient or to think about being resilient. We have to choose to live a resilient life.
What happens to us becomes part of us. Resilient people do not bounce back from hard experiences; they find healthy ways to integrate them into their lives.
Resilience and Wisdom
New scientific research suggests that resilience isn’t something with which only a fortunate few of us have been born, but rather something we can all take specific action to develop.
To build strength out of adversity, we need a catalyst.
What we need, according to Dr. Alex Lickerman, author of The Undefeated Mind, is wisdom―wisdom that adversity has the potential to teach us.
There are many different kinds of wisdom. It is telling that Webster’s dictionary distinguishes three types of wisdom:
(1) knowledge , or accumulated philosophic or scientific learning;
(2) insight , or the ability to discern inner qualities and relationships; and
(3) judgement , or good sense.
In The wisest one in the room, renowned psychologists describe the most useful insights from social psychology that can help make you “wise”: wise about why people behave the way they do, and wise about how to use that knowledge in understanding and influencing the people in your life.
Resilience: The wisdom of bamboo
“The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.”
We can learn from the wisdom of bamboo that:
1. Resilience is an ongoing process that requires time.
Bamboo takes at least three years to grow roots in the ground. But once the root system is in place, the growth is extraordinary – it can shoot up more than 20 meters in less than four months.
2. Resilience requires action. Try several things.
Once established the new shoots that emerge in the Spring (they will still only grow for 60 days) will continue to get bigger and more numerous from year to year as the colony grows towards maturity.
3. Bamboo suggests resilience: Bend, not Break.
“Bamboo is flexible, bending with the wind but never breaking, capable of adapting to any circumstance. It suggests resilience, meaning that we have the ability to bounce back even from the most difficult times…Your ability to thrive depends, in the end, on your attitude to your life circumstances. Take everything in stride with grace, putting forth energy when it is needed, yet always staying calm inwardly.”, says Ping Fu’s “Shanghai Papa”. Think that in some cultures, bamboo is used as infrastructure.