Inner Resilience for Outer Transformation
(Blog originally published in Zurich Ronorp on Jan 30, 2020)
The 21st century is the time when we are living in between two stories, one of intense capitalism with business as usual, and other of, as eco-philosopher Joanna Macy termed the Great Unravelling with prophecies of an imminent ecological disaster. Crushed between these two global stories, is also our individual story, how can we live a meaningful life in these times of change?
We need a third story, a story of continuous Resilience where we regain our inner core against all the odds. The word Resilience has Latin roots with re (to back), and salire (to jump), where we recoil back (again and again) with a new consciousness and see the world differently. As C.S. Lewis said, "You can't go back & change the beginning, but can start where you are and change the ending." How can one develop Resilience to change the ending then? I believe through gratitude and connecting with a larger picture. Gratitude is the most straightforward and most powerful tool to connect with oneself. Through understanding what we are grateful for, we might realize that resources (social, intellectual, moral, and financial) required for tackling the challenges are all around. One of the most critical resources is nevertheless our own Self, full of potentialities waiting to spring forth into action. Our Self, embedded in the wider web of life offers us opportunities we can not fully comprehend. Starting with our immediate family to community to nation-states to human species to the entire biosphere and beyond, just like the butterfly effect, what we do impacts the whole field. When we change as a single entity, the whole world changes with us, consciously or unconsciously. Charles Darwin defined evolution as "survival of the fittest." In the 21st century, with self-reflective human capacities, our evolution depends upon our inner Resilience to external factor changes. Through consciously developing this skill, we might be able to save us and the planet this time.
Deepak Bansal, a philosopher, engineer, & entrepreneur, is a founder of MQ Learning. He is passionate about integrating logic, relations, and human values for meaning driven personal and professional development.