When I was an educator teaching children, teachers, and parents resilience was a major focus. Resilience is the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. I cannot prevent people from experiencing stress, emotional upsets, or personal trauma, but I can work to help them learn to work through stress, emotional pain, and suffering. Today I find myself looking at resiliency as we face the disappointment of not being awarded the grant. One year of working on this grant application then facing this rejection has been difficult for all who participated and all who supported the vision of a new library.
I am practicing my resiliency now and I am encouraging others to do the same. First, I have focused on the accomplishments. The library personnel and the trustees and town officials worked to meet all the requirements and deadlines. This Small Library Pilot Project Grant was an expedited grant process and we had to work hard and quick. We did it! Second, the ideas and feedback from others provided validation, confirmation, and encouragement. The positive comments about our present library gave me the drive to move on. These comments boosted my self-esteem, I was accomplishing my goals and objectives. My emotional regulation helps me keep this in perspective and encourages me to be appreciative of what we have, and I know we will continue to meet the needs of the Otis Community. Flexibility, adaptability, and perseverance helped me draw on my resilience. My cohorts and trustees have had to use these same skills and practices. We have been role models for each other.
This whole experience has made me look globally and apply the importance of resiliency to living in our world today. We face all kinds of adversity in life. Personal issues, such as illness, loss of a loved one, abuse, bullying, job loss, and financial instability. We share the reality of tragic current events such as terrorist attacks, mass shootings, natural disasters, the COVID-19 pandemic, and now a war in Ukraine. We must learn to cope with and work through very challenging life experiences. Resilient people utilize their resources, strengths, and skills to face these challenges. People who lack resilience tend to feel overwhelmed or helpless, relying on unhealthy coping strategies such as avoidance, isolation, self-medication and sometimes violence. We can clearly see the need to develop our resiliency and help others to do the same. Dr. Sood, who is a member of the Everyday Health Wellness Advisory Board, believes that resilience can be defined in terms of five principles: Gratitude, Compassion, Acceptance, Meaning, and Forgiveness. Resilience is “the core strength you use to lift the load of life,” says Sood. Applying this resistance theory and cultivating resistance the American Academy of
Pediatrics summarizes the 7 Cs as follows:
Competence This is the ability to know how to handle situations effectively.
Confidence Individuals gain confidence by demonstrating competence in real-life situations.
Connection Close ties to family, friends, and community provide a sense of security and belonging.
Character Individuals need a fundamental sense of right and wrong to make responsible choices, contribute to society, and experience self-worth.
Contribution Contributing to one’s community reinforces positive reciprocal relationships.
Coping When people learn to cope with stress effectively, they are better prepared to handle adversity and setbacks.
Control Developing an understanding of internal control helps individuals act as problem-solvers instead of victims of circumstance.
The 7 Cs of resilience illustrate the interplay between personal strengths and outside resources. We see personal efforts to develop and maintain resiliency. I appreciate my outside resources that help maintain my resiliency. I realize that my resiliency and my outside resources got me through the disappointment of not receiving the Small Library Pilot Project Grant. I am committed to having the Otis Library provide what is needed to help others cultivate the resilience that is needed in this ever-changing challenging world.
5 of the Top Books on Resilience
Freedom From Anxious Thoughts and Feelings: A Two-Step Mindfulness Approach for Moving Beyond Fear and Worry, by Scott Symington, PhD
Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, by Michael Pollan
Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness, by Rick Hanson, PhD
Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience, by Allison Pataki
5 of the Top Movies, Documentaries, on Resilience
The Florida Project
He Named Me Malala
When They See Us
Examples of Resilience
Stories of public figures, celebrities, and other personalities who have overcome challenges in life can help others feel less alone and even be empowering
Randy Travis The country music superstar regained his voice and his life after suffering a massive stroke.
J.K. Rowling The author was divorced, on government aid, and struggling to feed her family just three years before she sold the first Harry Potter book. The manuscript was rejected dozens of times before publisher Bloomsbury bought it. Now Rowling and her books are a global phenomenon.
Emily Blunt As a child, the film actress (Mary Poppins Returns, A Quiet Place) struggled with a stutter that silenced her in the classroom and among her peers. But a teacher’s suggestion that she try out for a school play helped Blunt finally overcome her stutter.
Sterling K. Brown The actor, whose uncle died from pancreatic cancer, set out to normalize the experience of cancer survivorship
Jennifer Hudson The singer’s mother, brother, and nephew were murdered by her sister’s estranged ex-husband. In the wake of the tragedy, Hudson worked through her pain by creating the Julian D. King Gift Foundation. Named after her late nephew, the charity provides support and positive experiences to help children from all backgrounds grow into productive and happy adults.