How do we become resilient people

| June 6, 2014 | 0 Comments

 “Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it. My optimism, then, does not rest on the absence of evil, but on a glad belief in the preponderance of good and a willing effort always to cooperate.” — Hellen Keller



Chaplain (Col.) Ken Revell
94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command


Resiliency is the ability to adapt, overcome, survive and thrive.

And in some cases, resiliency means becoming bigger than what has happened to us.

Resiliency is more than mental toughness, grit and tenacity. While it is that, it is more.

Resiliency involves the dynamics of elasticity, flexibility and agility. It means bending without breaking. It can become what it needs to be, and then rise above adversity. Resiliency is the combat unit’s capacity to regroup, retool and refit after a set-back.

The pressing question for all of us is how we become resilient people. How do we create resiliency in our personal lives, in our families and in our professional lives? How do we have resilience after set-backs and challenges and in the whole of life? If this is your desire, I pray that the following propositions will prove helpful in your extraordinary venture:

•Have a vision; be demanding! Vision is not illusion. Vision is not hallucination. Vision is not magic. Get rid of these.

Falsities will keep you stuck in the muddy mire. Vision is the cultivation of a life passion, the discovery of life calling. Lives filled with meaning, purpose and direction provide us buoyancy in dealing with the roughest seas of our journey.

•Grow through storms, don’t just go through storms! When it comes to growing through storms, I think Robert Browning says it well:


“I walked a mile with Pleasure; she chatted all the way; but left me none the wiser for all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow; And not a word said she; But, oh! The things I learned from her, When Sorrow walked with me.”


A mature individual is a good steward of the joys and challenges of life.

•Jettison toxic emotions and attitudes from your life! Bitterness, rage, vindictiveness, festering and hurts are like cancers to the soul. They cloud, impair and often cripple our forward movement.

All this is not to say there is no place for catharsis. But there is a difference between therapeutic catharsis and recycling pain. The point of therapy is to offload such toxicity and lighten the burden for healthy forward movement.

•Hang around resilient people! Finally, if you expect to be resilient, hang around and learn from resilient people. Get inside their mind, learn how they think and model appropriate aspects of their behavior.

When I think of resilient people, I think of Helen Keller. She was an activist, author and educator. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Given the fact that she had a healthy dose of realism matched with an incurable sense of optimism, Keller demonstrated the ability to adapt, overcome and in many ways, became bigger than her circumstances.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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