I have recently met a very resilient young man. Born stateless, his remarkable life story shows determination to overcome nearly impossible odds. As a professional in North Sydney, he is now far removed from the likely perils of stateless people such as gaol time, drug abuse, death on the streets or selling organs. Hear more of Fadi’s story .
Intrigued by the hope and courage shown by people living in situations where I would expect only despair, I probed Fadi for clues to the origins of his resilience. He immediately narrated a story of his mother’s positive attitude in the hardest times. She would focus on the object of her gratitude (a cold glass of water was sufficient), ignoring all the pain that had preceded that new reality. She had fought for her only son to have an education and he treasured it, utilising the opportunity well. He cherished her love and sacrifice for him and returned those gifts to her when he was more capable of being the provider. They were people of faith, who believed God is good and just, despite their current circumstances, and despite a future that indicated nothing better. They continued to strive towards that hope, loving and supporting each other as best they could. But then Mum died. Fortunately, Fadi had learned those lessons of resilience sufficiently well to overcome another potentially crippling hurdle.
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from the difficulties we face. How do we build resilience in ourselves and our children? Facing challenges head on, rather than blaming or rescuing, medicating or denying them, is a great start. Teaming up to face them, like Fadi and his Mum, draws support to get through. Choosing to be appreciative of the good in our lives builds our hope and courage. Faith in God doesn’t deny our current reality, but gives hope for a future beyond our sight.
You might like to read Hebrews 12: 1-13 - a biblical case for resilience.
The articles here are currently written by Liam McKenna, Lane Cove Community Chaplain.