Thursday, 18 May 2017

Resilience

Resilience has become a bit of a buzz word just now. Educators want to see our young people develop resilience. Politicians must acquire  resilience in the face of a rapidly changing world. Even the church is concerned with ensuring (or at least measuring) the resilience of its ministers.
Psychologists assure us that resilience can be learned: the ability to adapt and overcome challenge or to perceive trauma as an opportunity to learn and grow rather than be defeated by it help us develop resilience.
While there is comfort in the knowledge that stressors don't have to define us, that we can rise above the things that might drag us down, that we can learn to change our perception and react with less negative emotion, it concerns me that it then becomes possible to accept things that are plainly wrong simply because we know that we can rise above their impact. This is of particular concern in the church. Recently, grappling with an issue of bullying, I was advised by colleagues to "let it go", "to forgive", "to be the bigger person", all well-meant advice but advice that nonetheless exacerbates the problem and perpetuates the injustice. It is conceivable that developing resilience merely papers over the cracks of a system that is rotting at its core. In my finer moments, I can take on a different, more positive perspective but that doesn't alter the fact that there are those in power, who should know better, who will carry on abusing that power unchallenged while those around them will merely become more resilient. That kind of resilience we don't need!

4 comments:

Martha Spong said...

I agree there's a point when actual resilience requires calling out the bullies. Praying for you and your work.

Janice Hill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janice Hill said...

Agree! Resilience keeps us sane as we stand for/with the marginalized. Thank you for the article! Resilently right there with you!!

Barbara Roberts said...

Often resilience is seen as being 'Christian Mr Nice Guy'. It's outworking can lead to frustration and resentment on one side and self righteousness on the other Alex

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