One of the benefits of being a Reservist with FEMA is that I get to experience firsthand the resilience of humans. In much of my work, I am limited to seeing growth during the process of the time I am working with individuals, couples and even students in the classroom. Going out to various places in our country, including territories, I get to experience firsthand what true human resilience is.
For example, in Puerto Rico a few months after Hurricane Maria struck, members of the response team, many of which were survivors of the disaster, were sharing traditions at the office, bringing in customary foods and inviting their co-workers to celebrations that were unique to PR. The desire to return to normalcy in whatever manner possible was strong. It's human nature! Even as many were still not able to return home or dealing with claims and their own frustrations with the system, there were smiles and generosities that were shared with those of us that had homes far away and families that were not suffering. There was a genuine support system, one that focused on what one had, not what one did not have.
Resiliency allows us to persevere and look at a glass half full. When we start imagining the world that we want, not necessarily the situation we are currently in, we start making decisions that lead us in that positive direction. And this is what makes us resilient.
Sunny E. Sassaman Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution Consultant