The Amazing Power of Resilience

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The human spirit

Submitted: March 17, 2015

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Submitted: March 17, 2015

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I was volunteering in our church thrift closet yesterday. It is a time to change over the winter clothes to the spring clothes. This is a great benefit to the community.

I talked and worked next to another church volunteer, and we got into a really good conversation.I will not share her name, but will share some of what she said to me. I have no problem opening up to strangers, for I find that I have that gift in the ability to share my humanity. A very sensitive person, I like to be able to relate to people who have a story to tell. We all have stories to tell, do we not?

We talked about our faith. We talked about the problems that we had in our family of origins. She shared about her divorce and ability to get back on her feet and start a daycare center when she hadn't worked in years.

The indomitable human spirit. Well, clearly many succumb to the hardships they face. I've seen plenty of things on the TV. I've witnessed this tragedy in some people that I personally knew. In addition, I heard about some unhappy stories from what other people told me.

Absolutely, the news is supposed to report what is actually going on in the world, and much of that is grim reality. We all grow weary of it.Yet the entertainment value of television can often provide nothing better than the unpleasant side of life to get ratings. Often it is fictional violence and crime. That's odd, because I observe that we Americans shy away from death. It still seems like a taboo topic.Yet at the same time, we are so intrigued as if to peak at it from a distance.

Back to my discussion with this woman, I shared that I am an amateurwriter. I shared about my first encounter with tragedy, as I just wrote about two children close to my age that I knew of who were murdered by their mother. I was just a child. It was a very, very scary reality for my young psyche, 

This fellow volunteer related back to my story that her paternal grandmother and her aunt both committed suicide. The grandmother turned on the oven and letting the gas fumes overtake the house. "They both did it together?" I questioned.

It ends up the aunt was only three years old. I said, "No, it was a murder suicide."The mother was in a forced marriage and desperate to get out.This is the kind of stuff that is far more shocking when in your own life than that on the news.

This woman also told me that her father was the one who found his mother and sister. He was only seven-years-old. I truly felt for her and for that man. Well, she had shared prior to this story that he had a mental breakdown in his early twenties and wasn't able to work after that.

"No wonder", I replied, understanding what he went through. How could he be unscathed by such a tragedy?I'm sure there was more to what was wrong with him, but I could see how this could be so damaging.

He spent a lot of times in mental institutions. I had shared that my paternal grandmother had to be committed, too. The woman also shared that though her parents were separated and eventually divorced. Her mother and father still loved each other very much, so that wasn't the reason. She loved her father very much, too, and looked after him when she was an adult. Her father just couldn't cope with his family or be the provider that he was supposed to be. Times were hard, and the mother had to scrounge around for any menial work that she could acquire to support the family, sometimes not having enough to eat so the children could have enough. It is similar to my dad having to support himself, his mother and his brothers when he was still a boy, living in terrible poverty.

This kind of story swapping gives me great insight and is helpful for when I lose my proper perspective or get angry at the world.I cannot deny that I have been bitter, yet this woman never felt this way. It wasn't on her radar. She made that quite clear that she was able to avoid those pitfalls. Undoubtedly,her faith helped her move forward.

Bitterness is a choice. Both of us go to church in spite of the ugly stuff we witnessed or knew of, the things that often becomes the easy chance to question the existence or fairness of God or the meaningfulness of life. 

I have struggled--and still have struggles-- with becoming better by my trials. I'm not always there, but I realize that to give up on the battle is not an option.The world is full of over-comers. The news doesn't always report that. It isn't the sensational stuff of headlines, but it is up to each of us who struggled with life to make that our own personal news story. To dismiss that experience is to miss out on growth, and I find that more tragic than the hardship itself.

For when we overcome, we are more willing to relate our humanity, helping those who also need a helping hand.


© Copyright 2020 Dee Anders. All rights reserved.

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