Seasonal Values – For Every Season: Reflection, 21st December

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21. Reflection ”All truly great thoughts are conceived through walking.” Friedrich Nietzsche …………………………… “It takes a certain ingenuous faith – but I have it – to believe that people who read and reflect more likely than not come to judge things with liberality and truth.”  A. C. Grayling  ………………………….. “By three methods we may learn […]

Seasonal Values – For Every Season: Honesty, 20th December

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20. Honesty “Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully.” Richard Bach   “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” Thomas Jefferson “Honest people don’t hide their deeds.” Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights Honesty: here’s a word that is synonymous with another word, yet is […]

Seasonal Values – For Every Season: Benevolence, 19th December

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19. Benevolence “To feel much for others and little for ourselves; to restrain our selfishness and exercise our benevolent affections, constitute the perfection of human nature.” Adam Smith   “The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” Mahatma Gandhi Being truly benevolent asks nothing in return. […]

Seasonal Values – For Every Season: Loyalty, 17th December

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17. Loyalty “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” Josh Billings   “The scholar does not consider gold and jade to be precious treasures, but loyalty and faith.” Confucius “Loyalty is the pledge of truth to oneself and others.” Ada Velez Boardley The meaning of words […]

Seasonal Values – For Every Season: Politeness, 9th December

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9. Politeness “Ceremonies are different in every country, but true politeness is everywhere the same.” Oliver Goldsmith “So let us begin anew – remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy One of the things that struck us most whilst traveling […]

Seasonal Values – For Every Season: 6th December

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6. Trust “Friendship – my definition – is built on two things. Respect and trust. Both elements have to be there. And it has to be mutual. You can have respect for someone, but if you don’t have trust, the friendship will crumble.” Mikael Blomkvist in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – Stieg Larsson […]

Seasonal Values – For Every Season: 5th December

5. Resilience

“Fall down seven times, get up eight times.”

Japanese Proverb

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“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”

Reinhold Niebuhr

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© 3Di Associates Photography

© 3Di Associates Photography

How many times do you have to fall down before you can’t get up any longer? Isn’t it rather foolish to allow yourself to be pushed so many times, only to return for more? Should we really keep being resilient when the virtuous thing might be to give up? Isn’t there resilience in walking away too?

It’s interesting that the well-known quote from Reinhold Niebuhr is called “The Serenity Prayer” not the resilience prayer, and yet in so many ways it describes resilience rather well. What’s more, if we do become more resilient, there’s serenity to be found – eventually.

In life we all have to face difficult times which require us to be resilient. Sometimes these hardships seem incessant and unsolvable. Sometimes there is no solution. Sometimes it feels as though any amount of resilience won’t overcome the anguish and grief.  Yet even if we don’t recognise our resilience and warmly embrace it, somehow we do survive through an implicit resilience deeply imbedded in our subconscious.

Resilience is not the same as persistence. A ramming beast persists on ramming. A calmer animal looks, reflects, considers and then decides whether it is worth continuing on a path or finds resilience to walk away; accepting the things they cannot change in order to preserve energy for the things they can change. An even more serene animal has the resilience to simply let things run a natural course, without thinking, without considering, without striving – just letting it be. This in itself is a pure form of resilience.

In times of grief and despair, it’s difficult to be resilient but resilient we must be, and with acceptance, courage and maybe the help of others, we will survive the falls and get up once more. In times of hope we must be resilient too, and if we have a strong belief in the right way, however many times we might be knocked off course, we need to be resilient too, for the sake of a hope for a brighter and more serene world.