When the power of peace-loving people around the world brought down the Berlin Wall in 1989, we rejoiced – never imagining that almost three decades later we’d see new walls being erected to separate and divide our human family. It’s a disturbing time, when anger, fear, hatred and lies seem so prominent that they’re almost starting to feel “normal”.
If we’re to make it through all this, we need to keep clear heads, understand and remember what’s important in the world, and take action to protect it…again, and again, and again. It could be a long and exhausting road – which means we will need major reserves of resilience, both personal and collective.
Towards that end, I think it could be useful to recognize and share some of the models of resilience that we each find in our lives.
The Great Blue heron in these photos is (at least so far) a survivor of humanity’s assaults on its habitat. It fishes alongside the creosoted pilings of a log sorting ground, with the thump, grind and squeal of boom boat engines, conveyor belts and sawmill blades for a soundscape.
The industrialized shoreline is a far cry from the dense forests and unpolluted mudflats that its heron ancestors knew – yet this bird manages to eke out a living here, one tiny fish at a time. As much as I’m appalled by what we’ve wrought to its home, I’m inspired by the bird’s resilience.
I welcome your thoughts on this topic: what inspires resilience for you? How can we help build and nurture each other’s resilience through these challenging times?