Thursday, December 18, 2008

We will all see how resilient we really are

As I drove in my car the other day(which I do a lot as the mother of school age children), I was listening to a radio program and there was much discussion about resilience. I have not been able to stop thinking about the relevance of this word as the holidays approach and our country is experiencing such economic turmoil. This is truly a time that will test the resilience of all of us. What is resilience? Webster defines it as "an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change."

For those of us who have battled cancer or other diseases we have had our resilience tested already. We have struggled our way through surgery and chemotherapy and know the hardship of physical illness. But there are others who will be tested in different ways. I know some people who are on the brink of personal financial crisis and their ability to adapt may be tested soon.

How do we prepare our children to be resilient in a society that gives children everything they could ever want? In spite of the fact that I was ill, I am not sure that my children easily adapt to misfortune. They get upset if things don't go their way. My son was very distressed because I forgot to give him a few dollars for the toy sale at school. It was a simple oversight on my part but it ruined his day. He felt left out and blamed me for his misery. I wonder what, if anything, I am teaching my children when I get reactions like this. As we all know, there is going to be less of everything this year in this economy and perhaps this mistake on my part was actually a good teaching moment. Some families don't even have money for a toy sale. Maybe our mothers had it right all along. Perhaps I need to use the starving children in Africa line a little bit more to get my point across.

Regardless of this, we will push on and hopefully dig deep in our hearts to deal with the hand that we are dealt. It is through inner strength and the help of others that we will continue to persevere in spite of obstacles like illness and financial difficulties in this holiday season.

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