Word of the Week: Resilient

Benjamin Haas |

I finally admitted to myself that I’m feeling a bit depressed by all this coronavirus talk and quarantining. Like so many, I feel the stress, I miss having the outlets I’m used to, I’m tired of seeing people through Zoom and masks. And the fact that there isn’t exactly an end date to this “new normal” that I can circle on my calendar is flat out depressing. But as I admit that to myself, I also triggered that deep-down feeling of resiliency that I hope we all have in reserve.

I think it’s true that humans have a unique ability to deal with problems right in front of their faces, by adapting and making something work. Think MacGyver with his intellect and swiss army knife, solving problems with bubble gum and duct tape – “we will figure this out!” That’s the way I think about America right now. “We’ll figure it out” has always been true in the past and it is starting to show up in our world right now. And that’s why my word of the week is resilient.

  • Resilient is the stock market pushing higher in the midst of what still feels like economic Armageddon with millions on unemployment and counties like mine still “in the red,” closed for business.
  • Resilient is what I think about when the historian in me looks back to 2008, the last financial market meltdown and period of economic turmoil, and how strong we came out of that period. Just like we did after 9/11 and the tech crash of 2001. And like we did in 1987. And in 1973. And each time before that. America has always been resilient. Even though the beginning of the downturn seems to always be different, the ending is the same, each time.
  • Resilient is how I feel when I see the plans for honoring graduates in the next few weeks with parades, recorded speeches, billboards. Having to do this stinks. But the fact that we come together to do the best we can for these graduates through this mess, makes us resilient, right?
  • Resilient is the medical community going to work every day to combat the virus; those caring for others, those researching cures and vaccines, those funding that work, those praying for that to happen.
  • Resilient is how I feel about you all when I think back to all the scary conversations we had in March about the stock market drop, and the fact that the life boat worked, that you didn’t just jump ship and abandon your financial plans amid all the fear – YOU have been resilient.
  • Resilient and what it means to be resilient is why I’m so excited that Katie McKenna agreed to come on my Zoom to tell her story and share some perspective with us all (mark your calendar for 5pm on 5/28/2020 and RSVP here).

Katie describes resilience like a rubber band. We all are rubber bands right now, waiting for the snap back to normalcy. That’s resilience, the ability to snap back. But maybe we feel stretched too far and we’re starting to lose the bounce back feeling. Maybe we have doubts that we recover from these difficulties? Or how quickly? But resiliency doesn’t care about the details, the MacGyver tools, the quickness. It’s just about bouncing back. And that’s all that matters. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it may not be pretty, but we WILL figure this out.

I hope you’re able to dig deep into that resiliency reserve right now, and use the Memorial Day weekend to recharge, and strengthen your resolve a bit. I’m going to do my best.

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