Resilience is Key to Joy

All humans come into this world unique but with a certain curiosity and resilience that is at our primal core. Many of us lose those qualities as we grow, unfortunately. Shame on any parent who does not instill this quality in his child.

Resilience is a core quality in children. (I’ve taken enough graduate courses in psychology to know a few things about a few things.) Children are better than adults at overcoming hardships. Their brains can rewire better. Animals of all species are like this. If you know about the Farm Sanctuary, you know that abused animals frolic and trust again, once they are safe. Humans are no different. And, yes, I am aware of abandoned infants from neglected orphanages who display emotional and social abnormalities in adoption, but not all do. The same for goats, chickens, pigs, cows, dogs and cats.

I’ve been following a local nine-year-old’s struggle with cancer for about seven months, thanks to social media. His resilience is overwhelming. He’s gone from chemo for a tumor in his leg they thought would require knee reconstruction, to a leg amputation, more intensive chemo, one lung surgery to remove more tumors and another surgery on the second lung and more chemo. His mom has been sharing his story on Caring Bridge. (Out of respect for their privacy I am not linking to his page.) I’ve read about his agonizing shrieks and tears from the pain and fear, desperate attempts to get out of a moving car and absolute panic attacks in the hospital. I truly can’t imagine or understand how this boy and his family do it every day. But throughout this journey that has seldom been hopeful medically, this kid just gets spiritually stronger. He so quickly found his new normal. This little person with barely 100 months of life has magically put the past behind him. He’s amazing. He inspires.

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Resiliency is the path to joy and a life lived fully. And it’s not just surviving; it’s being present. In a time when so many have an ego-centered sense of entitlement, greater good be damned for the slightest inconvenience, I want to be more like this boy. I want to clear my conscience of regret, feel my footing rooted from my soul with gratitude for this moment.

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