Becoming Resilient

“How do you develop resilience?”

We were discussing an approaching event at which I’ll speak to a group of nonprofit leaders about the notion of confronting and overcoming adversity.

These folks are discouraged and overwhelmed right now. They represent the fabric of our community’s social safety net, the last line of defense against hunger, homelessness, and countless maladies that threaten families.

That fabric’s stretched awfully thin as the struggling economy slams them from two directions. They encounter the impossible task of meeting increased demands for their services with dwindling donations. As I gather my thoughts, I face my own balancing act: how do I acknowledge their authentic challenges while offering hope and encouragement?

I’m not a big fan of Pollyanna. When a child’s hungry there’s little comfort in observing that adversity builds character. A family living in their car needs shelter, not wise platitudes. Those who aren’t in immediate jeopardy have the luxury of discerning the benefits of confronting and mastering fear.

But nothing’s gained by wallowing in misery and worrying about circumstances we can’t control. My audience is well acquainted with the brutal realities. So what can I offer to them?

I think they need hope. I think they need to see a bigger picture, to be creative when it’s not easy. And that’s why I want to talk with them about being resilient.

I have some thoughts that I’ll share over the next few days, but since a blog is supposed to be a conversation I’d like to get your thoughts.

So please leave a comment.

Question: What’s a key to being resilient?

Please leave a comment, visit my website, and/or send me an email at

Subscribe to receive updates by Email

Scroll to top