This is not the first time I've praised Krista Tippett's radio show, "On Being" on this Facebook page (nor will it be the last!) but I wanted to share this link with you, if anyone out there has time to listen to a really inspiring interview with Andrew Zolli, who has written a book called "Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back."
Zolli has become fascinated with why some people just seem to be more resilient than others (why some people can go through terrible trauma and come out of it relatively unscathed) and how beneficial it might be for all of us to focus our efforts on building our resilience to disasters more than desperately trying to control our worlds so that there are no disasters. (Because, basically: There WILL be disasters.) How do the resilient among us react, Zolli asks, when life begins to feel "like it's raining hammers"?
Hint: Resilience doesn't have anything to do with how rich, young or physically strong you are. It has to do with what Zolli calls "psychological hardiness". His studies seem to show that the people who are most resilient against the trials of existence are those who believe that 1) life has meaning, 2) their own lives have a PARTICULAR meaning, and 3) the trials and sufferings of life can teach us, shape us, and even improve us.
Here's a direct quote from the interview:
"People who are psychologically hardy, it turns out, believe very prevalently some things about the world. So, if you believe that the world is a meaningful place, if you see yourself as having agency within that world, and if you see successes and failures as being placed in your path to teach you things…then you are more likely to be psychologically hardy, and therefore more resilient in the face of trauma."
Without that sort of thinking, Zolli says, when suffering hits, people just fold in on themselves and collapse.
Also? The resilient (the "psychologically hardy") seem to be those who have built a loving community around them, for the free exchange of support and encouragement. I love Zolli's rules for the healthy building of all good community networks:
1) You build them before you need them.
2) You root them in an initial act of generosity. (In other words, you give of yourself to the community in a big and bold and open-hearted way, before you expect anything from anybody.)
Folks, this guy is so good, so interesting, so articulate and thoughtful. So check it out if you want to know more!
To resilience, everyone!
A Shift to Humility: Andrew Zolli on Resilience and Expanding the Edge of Change
Can resilience thinking be a successor to solutions-based strategies and even sustainability, both of which assume that balance can be achieved? Andrew Zolli is helping reframe our approach to everything from economic development to urban planning.