last week in a group i led, we were talking about the effects of generational poverty on mental health. and there were a lot of pretty negative, pessimistic outcomes described in the literature i had. talking to the guys about it was interesting because though they could agree with some things, they had some appropriate anger at some of the more negative ideas about what poverty could do to you. after a long discussion we decided that what they forgot about people, the factor that was missing that described our group, was resiliency. i’m not sure but i think that might be one of my favorite words and concepts! the most amazing thing about people, the human spirit, whatever, is the ability some people have to bounce back, to dust themselves off and try again (word up, aaliyah).
it was funny in looking at that literature, some of it was so familiar to me. i know people who have had rough circumstances and either can’t or refuse to get back up again, they stay broken. i’ve talked about my mom before as one of the most committed pessimists i’ve ever met. a lot of this literature was reminding me of her mindset, it could’ve been written about her. so how did i come out so much more resilient than her? how did my mind commit at a young age to the idea that there was more for me and that this set of life circumstances wouldn’t lay me out? i wasn’t taught resiliency, can it be taught? it’s kind of magical, i think.
so today, i’m thankful for resiliency.