A Whole New World: 7 Virtues for the Great Reset - #3 Resilience

great reset Jun 19, 2020

Virtue 3: Resilience

“Life is not about how many times you fall down, but how many times you get back up.”  ~ Nelson Mandela


Resilience is a virtue we’re urgently calling on in the midst of the current pandemic, the anguished call for a social justice movement, and the rise of climate change. The waves just keep coming. Resilience is the strength of the human spirit to endure and navigate through adversity, disappointment, tragedy and loss.  What does resilience look like at this unique time in our history and our lives?

  • African-American thought leaders speak of generational exhaustion at ongoing systemic racism, yet are willing to step up to elevate and educate. 
  • Amidst massive uncertainty about opening up our economies at the risk of losing more lives to COVID, business leaders are changing their business models to adapt. 
  • Millions are marching for social justice, risking a spike in the Covid pandemic for the sake of an ideal more important than survival. 
  • Farmers faced with economic loss are partnering with local governments to sustain their agricultural production to provide food for hungry families. 

Our perseverance to keep taking one step after another is an astounding testament to the depth of our spiritual fortitude. 

This is a deeply emotional time, and many of us are experiencing the FOG Syndrome, cited in Linda’s book, A Pace of Grace: fatigue, overwhelm, and guilt. We are plagued by crisis and compassion fatigue; overwhelmed by the images and information coming in on all media -- what The Economist calls an “infodemic”; and guilt at all the unsolved issues that demand attention.

We can get through the FOG by calling on nimble adaptability in creating and managing change in our personal lives. To do this effectively at a time of great stress, grief, and anxiety, we have to ground ourselves in radical self-care. Here are three resilience practices to benefit yourself, your family, your community, and the world:

  1. Take care of yourself. Resist succumbing to crisis fatigue and grief at the loss of normal life. Practice reflection each day, alone and together. Listen to calming music, do yoga, eat as cleanly and healthily as you can. Stay hydrated, and get regular exercise you enjoy. Balance watching the news with positive podcasts and blogs. Find things that make you laugh. As restrictions are lifted, go to places of natural beauty to walk, run and play. Manage your money wisely and responsibly, and save as you’re able. Stay wise, responsible, and strong.  
  2. Keep a pace of grace. Create a schedule. Make your bed. Get dressed. Create a routine for your family. Take time for devotion or reflection, read inspiring passages, meditate, listen to uplifting music, and send positive thoughts of hope to surround the earth. Create a gentle balance as you do chores, do productive work or study, play (alone and together), and have bedtime rituals such as stories, express gratitude, or share “a thorn and a rose” from everyone’s day. 
  3. Do something to be of service. Service gives us meaning and purpose. There is a wide range of ways to help, from making food to share, donating to causes, caring for the most vulnerable, or shopping for elders. Make sure people in all parts of your community are well fed and can maintain their housing. Contribute to social justice change in your own way. When we focus on caring for others, our own cares dissipate. Let us, as Abraham Lincoln said, call on “the better angels of our nature”.

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” ~ Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

We will get through this, but let us never get past it. This is a tipping point for creating sustainable change in community health, social justice, environmental protection, and new ways of thinking. The waves will keep coming. As resilient sailors, we’re learning to ride the waves.  

Authors: Linda Kavelin-Popov and David Feldman

Linda Kavelin-Popov is a psychotherapist and hospice spiritual care doula. She is co-founder of The Virtues Project, endorsed by The Dalai Lama and the United Nations. She has authored seven books, translated into several languages. She was named a “Cultural Creative” by Time Magazine.

Dave Feldman is an entrepreneur, community builder, thought leader and international speaker.  He co-founded several social entrepreneurial ventures including: Virtues Matter, developer of the Virtues Cards app; Livability Project, a sustainability consultancy; and Media4Green, an environmental content producer.