One of the finest qualities of being human

"Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again"
— Nelson Mandela

"The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived."
— Robert Jordan, The Fires of Heaven


At one time, I thought of resiliency primarily as the ability to successfully cope with a crisis and to return to pre-crisis status quickly. However, I now xall that “short-term resilience.”

This is because serious challenges to one’s life frequently require time to cope and to overcome obstacles placed in our paths—and to find positive meaning in life once again. In other words, while short-term resilience doesn’t require a change in one’s basic outlook on life, “long-term resilience” is a major game-changer.

People react to personal traumas such as divorce, accidents, job loss, and death of a loved one, with strong emotions and uncertainty. However, over time, they generally come out the other side with skills they didn’t have before or didn’t need before.

These new strengths of character, like hope and perseverance, can be applied to other challenges that will happen later in their lives—for new bumps are certain to appear on everyone’s path as long as they live.

Therefore, the focus of this last module of exploring the finest qualities of being human is to explore the lessons you have learned from past traumas. When you do, it will be easier to cope with new challenges.

Exploring RESILIENCY in Your Life

What does resiliency mean to you?

What is the most important lesson you have learned from dealing with a serious problem in your past with a good case of resiliency?\? How does reminding you of that help you deal with new challenges?

What symbol best represents resiliency—something that can remind you of this important quality when you are heading into the wind and the weather report says more is on the way?

This exploration of resilience was created by Arlene Harder, MA, MFT, resident of Villa Gardens, a Front Porch Retirement Community in Pasadena, California. The material is not copyrighted and may be used with attribution. (Photo on Dreamstime by Lawrence Wee.)