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The Resilience

Resilience has become a buzzword. What does Wikipedia say about this:

Resilience (from Latin resilire, ‘jumping back’, ‘bouncing off’) or mental resilience is the ability to cope with crises and use them by resorting to personal and socially-mediated resources as causes for development. Related to resilience are the development of health (salutogenesis), resilience (hardiness), coping strategy and self-preservation (autopoiesis).

I heard this term for the first time 40 years ago. At that time, resilience was only used in connection with children in psychology and referred to the particular resilience of a few children, who remained psychologically intact despite considerable traumatic stress. Nowadays, the meaning of the word has completely shifted. Politicians and other public-power people and leaders love this term. The mental resilience of children has was transferred to general resilience. We are in dire need of that because resistant people survive traumas and rape, losses and poverty without any harm (that’s what I mean ironically). The develop to a special ability, namely, to think and feel positively despite unfavorable external conditions, have to be practiced. Thus, the trait, which formerly applied only to a few affected children, has been revealed to the whole world as a panacea. It is always good to reinvent swollen concepts to suppress reality. Resilience should become the new magic word for strength. What an indictment! We should work more on relinquishing resilience.


The term resilience sounds grandly elegant and is to pretend competence. The real meaning is bouncing off and says a lot. No matter what happens out there, it should bounce off us, and we should be immune to grievances in our self-promoted world. I completely reject that. Resilience is very often confused with strong resistance. The language continues to evolve, and that’s a good thing. The stupid thing is that only a few are aware of what the language causes. Words are internalized to specific attributes with appropriate interpretations. If all this goes on so sloppily, distortions often arise that are not entirely without consequences in our communication. Such misinterpretations have been particularly influential in schizophrenic people. If the word “table” is associated with a knife attack, then we all get a big problem. We alienate ourselves from our typical reality formation and understand each other less and less. Indeed, that would be a great need to learn resilience. As I mentioned earlier, I prefer to be resistant but not resilient. I do not want to lose my ability to be vulnerable.

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