Resiliency in the face of a constant barrage of stressors leads to addictive behavior, poor communication skills, erosion of personal relationships and leads to a reduction in the very resiliency, stressors were designed to develop.
We see evidence of this in communities torn apart by racial conflict, ethnic conflict and religious conflict. When there are too many external stressors 9and even internal stressors), individuals (and groups) cross the line from being “gritty” and resilient to taking up arms, protesting and pushing back.
Which creates a cycle, based not in resiliency (though the other dominant party may resist the protests and pushback through avoidance, aggressiveness, or even passive-aggressive behavioral tactics) but in resistance.
And both sides will claim—either verbally or nonverbally— to be exercising resiliency in the face of unreasonable requests, protests and pushback from “the other.”
“We shall overcome” becomes the stated chant (and unstated belief) of both sides, and the first side to verbalize it, is most likely the side who will endure—or have the resiliency and grit—to make it to the end of the cycles of violence.
The critical question to ask (and answer) thus becomes: Will there ever be a way to encourage the development if grit and resilience in people, families, communities, and even in cities and nation-states, without triggering violent cycles of resistance, retribution and violence?
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: firstname.lastname@example.org