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Resilience

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Monday, July 06, 2020

We hear a lot about resilience as something we "should" cultivate. Collectively and individually. Earnestly and diligently.

The economy "should" bounce back when we "return to normal" -- a normal that we may yearn for nostalgically, that we may persist in thinking is desirable. Although that normal absolutely never did work for a lot of people.

And absolutely, each of us "should" be more resilient too. Bouncing right back from this period of unprecedented change. From grief and fear and loss.

And if we think that's so? Then:

Gotta work at that!! Gotta discipline myself to be more resilient!! Gotta know exactly how to set about becoming more resilient. For myself, and for my community.

But: what if it's not so? Supposing we hypothesize that whether we feel resilient depends quite a bit on how we think about ourselves.

If I think of myself as a "Christmas ornament": well heck, Christmas ornaments are beautiful and glittery and meant to sparkle temporarily. Perhaps not worth a whole lot monetarily but perhaps with a lot of sentimental memories attached. But if I drop one on the floor, it's pretty likely gonna break. If not the first time, the second time. Shattered and non-repairable. Like that old normal.

If I think of myself as an "orange": I can get dropped lots of times. Even hurled to the floor. And from the outside, maybe I won't look much different. The rind is probably intact. Tough. But on the inside? Bruised, falling apart, damaged. Integrity destroyed. Likely gonna rot pretty fast.

If I think of myself as a superball? I'm built to bounce right back. To bounce higher than I fell Over and over again.

This is a metaphor I borrowed from viewing a three principles conversation between Michael Neill and Cathy Casey called (ironically) "Creativity on Demand". Ironically because we can't demand of ourselves that we'll be creative . . . any more than we can demand of ourselves that we be resilient.

The most interesting part? We are creative. We are resilient.

I'm not a fragile Christmas ornament and I'm not a tough-skinned internally destroyed orange either.

But: I also don't have to work hard to think of myself as a superball. It's not up to me. Anymore than it's up to me to will gravity into existence.

We are ALL superballs. We are built that way

We know what to do when we know what to do: when we get quiet.

Trusting there will be lots of fresh thoughts, lots of new directions. Collective and individual wisdom.

Blast from the past?? Bobby Vee!!

. www.youtube.com/watch?v=
YIuaGQi1z6k
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