Resilience: Often overridden by our narrative
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Resilience: Often overridden by our narrative

It should not be confused with another similar perceiving term, namely patience, which has a different connotation

Post by NADEEM QAYOOM on Saturday, January 21, 2023

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In life, one finds it difficult to navigate the roller coaster of varied constraints faced by an individual. Growing through the phases of life, one gets exposed to harsh truths and experiences. Situations require one to leave the past behind and re-calibrate one's wits to deal with the situation at hand. Having a gifted possession—The Mind—man has confronted disasters and mishaps in a calculated manner depending upon the sources, severity, and their overall effect on him. The majority of these unwelcome occurrences have a human cause behind them, which gets often ignored, and nature only rarely shows its might. Moreover, there is a logic behind these statistics. In the beginning, good and evil coexisted, and man's natural tendency was to lean toward the evil side, with pleasure and greed being the primary causes. This proclivity muddles man's very purpose on Earth and also has a negative influence on others. 


Familial as well as societal issues emerge due to the above-mentioned tendency. It is because of these causes that the majority of our present-day conflicts and confrontations are occurring or have occurred in the past, be it climate change, over-exploitation of resources, the rich-poor gap, inter-personal jealousy, and the like. The obsession with having more and more pleasures and privileges, as well as the desire to deny the same to others, grows inch by inch with each passing day, only to snap the delicate thread of human relations in the end. When he or she realises the mistakes made, his or her reluctance to mend ways or try to fix the approaches due to egoistic aspects adds fuel to the fire rather than dousing it. Believing in oneself and the Almighty's plan for things because he created everything in perfect measure and precision. It is evil that deviates man from the path of righteousness, guiding him into the quagmire of filthy materialistic pleasure, the squalor of greed, and the grime of enmity.


Among the other qualities, humankind is also endowed with RESILIENCE, which allows it to return to its natural, stable form in the quickest way possible in the event of adversity. A natural tendency to find the best and most potent way to prevent further deterioration of a distress situation and to mitigate its present and after-effects is called RESILIENCE. This can be in terms of emotions, physical stress, or economic constraints. It is because of this resilience that humans have survived previous pandemics, natural disasters, and personal losses; otherwise, they would have never come out of the shock of the respective incidences and ultimately may have affected their very survival. In simpler terms, resilience is the ability to adjust or manage a situation (especially a bad one) so that the person is no longer negatively affected by the prevailing conditions; it should not be confused with another similar perceiving term, namely patience, which has a different connotation and is the subject of another piece.


It finds its application in every nuance of life, be it failure, rejection, ignorance, dejection, remorse, etc. If all the mentioned feelings are not managed by a person's resilience, they may lead the person to an extreme edge, where it becomes very difficult to back out. Each one of us possesses it, but the majority of us are unaware of its application in almost every situation of life. It is not necessarily an inherent trait but an attribute that can be acquired and practiced, though genetic interference may affect the acquisition. A student needs it after tasting failure; a job aspirant needs it after getting dejected in an interview; a deserving one needs it when he/she is ignored; and a patient needs it when a disease makes him/her too weak to talk and walk. Resilience is an essential ingredient for vigour and vitality in life. We can live without it, but we can't progress when adversity strikes.

Resilience does not imply a lack of fear, strain, or emotional distress, but rather managing the rough times and adapting to the prevalent tough conditions in order to sustain them and absorb the bitter truth of the situation in order to devise an effective strategy to deal with the same. In fact, while demonstrating resilience, one may experience extreme pain and difficulty, but it exercises the endurance muscle and fortifies our resistance to adversity during difficult times when we are prone to kneel down and submit to manageable miseries. Resilience is an amalgam of thoughts, behaviours, and ultimately the actions derived from the former that assist or tend to assist in adapting and managing any difficulty with the motive of having less damage and more bearing capability. The takeaway point is that RESILIENCE is a deliberate response; the more we practise it, the less we will be overwhelmed by life's distressing events.


Human psychology advocates that man is susceptible to Bystander's Syndrome, Functional Syndrome, and other less researched psychological phenomena. The human mind is so complex that its functioning, both in terms of cognition and its biological importance, has not been fully understood yet, even today, when science has reached the depths of the deepest oceans and sent probes to far-off planets and asteroids. Similarly, mental resilience has led man to recover from the worst situations in the past, such as pandemics, floods, and other natural as well as man-made disasters, even though logic had a different take on the consequences. We are still hidden behind the dialects of mental functioning. We still need to learn more despite having learned so much about the perfection and precision of this marvellous creation of the Almighty, which has been termed Ashraf-ul-Makhluqaat (the noblest of all creations).


Whenever and wherever humans have fought shy of greed, envy, and malice and instead shown patience and RESILIENCE in a distressing situation, the former has never dared to have a second chance. It appears that the present generation is more interested in short cuts and is ready to apply effortless solutions to their problems without paying heed to the time-tested strategies regarded by our forefathers as having helped them sustain themselves until today. A society in which resilience, logic, and sanity reverberate does prosper and ultimately becomes a foundation stone for the development of the whole nation, especially when this attribute is inculcated in the young generation; it will certainly reap fruits later on. Enculturation here needs to be emphasised.


The sum and substance of the whole discussion is that there is a dearth of seriousness, responsibility, and, most importantly, RESILIENCE on our part towards the present scenario of chaos and confusion. We often ignore this innate capability in times of distress. Instead of accepting the reality and starting to work towards its mitigation, we make our own narratives according to our likes and tastes, which mostly have no scientific support, thus deteriorating the situation further despite the need of the hour being otherwise. Let sanity prevail!


(Author is a Columnist and can be reached at 

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