I think a lot of us would rather not be described as resilient. Rather than being praised how we’ve overcome challenges and adversity, at our stubborn refusal to give up in the face of hopeless situations, maybe we’d like to have lived just a bit easier.
This is not praise of idleness or laziness. As a society we seem to have come to accept that hardship and struggle should be the norm, and that inferior people are those that have had it “too easy.” What a load of crap. I can’t find any particular moral reason why thinking and living like slaves would make us better people.
It’s good to be resilient, yes? But wouldn’t it also be good if we didn’t face starvation, poverty, isolation, and grief as the result of a single catastrophe? The majority of people in my country, one of the richest in the world, are but a single illness away from abject poverty and homelessness. We live in a society where losing a job, whether through our own action or the actions of “market forces,” can be career ending. Older workers are especially vulnerable.
Picking yourself up and continuing with a life that has suddenly become much much harder may be resilient, but it is also a human tragedy playing itself out all around us.
We are wonderfully resilient. But at the same time we perpetuate a stupid way of life that punishes the weak, the unlucky, and the frustrated far more than it rewards hard work, stoic acceptance, and the struggle to achieve the basics of home and hearth.