What is resilience?
We explain what is resilience mean and use of this term in different areas. In addition, some examples and synonyms of this ability.
What is resilience mean?
When we talk about resilience we mean the ability of an individual, a system or a community to go through traumatic, violent or difficult episodes or events without this meaning a permanent (and especially harmful) transformation in their structure or way of being.
In fact, a feature of resilience is the ability to positivize the disaster , that is, to get good things out of unfortunate events.
The term applies to several fields of knowledge, always oscillating around the same meaning, such as psychology , ecology and even engineering.
In all cases, however, it is linked to the nature of the objects or individuals and is considered a value or a quality, a desirable and encouraging aspect , in the case of human beings .
The word resilience comes from the Latin resilio , which translates “go back” or “bounce.”
In ecology, there is talk of resilience to refer to the capacity of ecosystems and biotic communities to overcome sudden or violent changes in their habitat , managing to return to normal as soon as these changes cease, or even adapt to them.
This concept is closely linked to that of biodiversity : a community with a variety of species and trophic chains is more likely to be resilient to an eventuality, given that it has more game elements.
Resilience in psychology
The study of the human psyche identifies as resilience the ability of the human mind to overcome or go through intense periods of pain or suffering and adapt positively to the new reality , recovering its vital thrust.
For some time it was thought that this characteristic was innate to human beings, but contemporary psychology has shown that it derives directly from nurture and self-esteem values . Thus, a person with good self-esteem will be, in principle, more resilient to the obstacles that arise in life, being able to overcome them and turn the experience into something positive for their life .
Human resilience can be demonstrated through the vital examples of four historical figures:
- Nelson Mandela . The first black South African president reached the presidency of the republic after a tortuous path of political and social struggle that made him give to prison for 27 years. An event of this magnitude would have made anyone give up, but Mandela persevered until he was released from prison, leading an alternative political movement and winning free elections with a project of racial and political reconciliation that took South Africa out of Apartheid.
- Stephen Hawkin g . The famous theoretical and studious physicist of the British universe suffered from his youth of Amyotrophic Laterial Sclerosis (ALS), an incurable degenerative disease that caused him to lose most of his body’s muscle control. Although the doctors evicted him and assured him that he would not live long, Hawking continued his studies in physics and managed to become one of the most famous, important and recognized scientific voices in the world, even being confined to a wheelchair and having to talk by an electronic device.
- Mark Inglis . This guide of New Zealand mountaineering was caught in the middle of a snowstorm with his best friend in the middle of Mount Cook, in New Zealand. The colds were so intense during the 14 days they waited for the rescue, that their legs were frozen and had to be amputated. Far from renouncing his passion and his trade, Inglis received prosthetic metal legs and insisted on mastering them to such an extent that he resumed mountaineering and in 2002 managed to climb to the top of the mountain where he lost his legs.
Depending on its scope of use, resilience may be synonymous with:
- Resistance , strength, invulnerability.
- Stoicism, adaptation, overcoming.
- Survive, overcome, recover.