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It is fascinating that people handle life’s challenges in many different ways.
What is resilience?  Are you born with it?  Can you cultivate it? Some people have called resilience, GRIT, Determination, Perseverance. Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. It means "bouncing back" from difficult experiences.
Why do some people handle the death of a loved one or a life threatening illness and move on and others never seem to get over it?  How do you deal with difficult events in your life?
A recent search on Amazon resulted in over 6,000 books around the topic of Resilience.  There are stories of people that have overcome some tremendous odds and triumphed.  Maybe you’ve read the books, Unbroken about the Olympic runner Louie Zamperini or I’m No Hero by Charlie Plumb, and countless others.  Then there are examples of entire communities that have been affected by disasters and do bounce back and rebuild.
(If you cannot see the video below on your device, click here).
Research has shown that resilience is not extraordinary. People commonly demonstrate resilience. One example is the response of many Americans to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and individuals' efforts to rebuild their lives.
Being resilient does not mean that a person doesn't experience difficulty or distress. Emotional pain and sadness are common in people who have suffered major adversity or trauma in their lives. In fact, the road to resilience is likely to involve considerable emotional distress.
Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have.  However, the good news is that it can be cultivated  (learned and developed) through specific behaviors, thoughts and actions .
A recent article by Kira M. Newman in the Greater Good Science Center from UC Berkeley, discusses five science backed strategies for building one’s own resilience.
Resilience is not only an individual quality that can be fostered but we must also build resilient communities.
This article discusses and documents specific examples of children who have not only survived the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina in and around New Orleans but who are now Thriving.   It also discusses the importance of Community.

Four Paths to Building Resilient Cities and Counties

“Resilient communities are better able to bounce back from disasters and disruptions in a sustainable way and maintain a good quality of life for all. They are better prepared for uncertainties and able to adapt to changing conditions.
There is no one-size-fits all approach to building resilience, because the challenges our communities face vary from place to place. Local governments define their own goals based on local priorities. But many leading cities and counties have prioritized the follow actions in response to extreme weather, energy, and economic challenges.
1. Prepare for Climate Change and Extreme Weather
  • Evaluate local vulnerabilities to extreme weather and a changing climate, from heat waves and air pollution to droughts and floods.
  • Adopt and implement preparedness policies that protect vulnerable populations and natural resources from extreme weather and other climate impacts.
  • Reduce the carbon emissions causing destructive extreme weather to help reverse climate change and avoid the costs of adapting to more severe climate impacts.
2. Expand Renewables and Energy Efficiency
  • Transition to a renewable energy future to achieve greater energy independence, protect communities from price spikes, and ensure more reliable power during heat waves and other disruptions. Create new jobs in the process.
  • Implement energy efficiency programs that help residents, businesses, and municipal government save money and energy, lower carbon emissions, and reduce demand on the grid during severe weather events.
3. Renew and Strengthen Infrastructure
  • Upgrade or protect critical infrastructure against extreme weather and other threats.
  • Create new models to finance improvements and manage risks to community assets through engagement with the private sector.
  • Harness innovations in information technology and green infrastructure to optimize performance and reduce costs through more efficient operation.
4. Strengthen the Local Economy
  • Work to retain and attract investment by safeguarding businesses from extreme weather and ensuring reliable access to energy, water, and other key resources.
  • Support the private sector in creating more diversified local economies that are more resilient to economic downturn, through job creation in sectors such as clean energy, advanced manufacturing, and local agriculture.“
(If you cannot see the video below on your device, click here).
Additional videos/resources:
The 10 Best Resilience Videos

Please share your thoughts or comments below.

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