from the archive: resilience is a community effort

In honor of the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy - a previous post on community resilience - the act of protecting what we value, bringing us together, making us stronger.


This past week, the events of Boston, MA and West, TX and even the recent decline of my grandfather's health have reiterated one very vital thing for me. Resilience is a community effort.

Preparing alone, coping along, fighting alone - they are all myths of the first order. We do not fight an illness, a disaster, a bombing or anything else for that matter, alone. We fight it with our community. Perhaps not our neighbors directly, proximity is not what it once was, but certainly with our relationships and our network.

Technology has made it possible to see the world in near real-time. It has enabled my family to touch base time zones away during a scary time and it has allowed the world to watch with baited breath as Boston closed a city and West mourned the loss of their town. It's a dual-edged sword, technology. It provides vital connection, yet it can also cause rapid destruction. It's one of those agnostic mediums that requires outside direction to be positive or negative. Patton Oswalt, yes I am quoting the comedian, said,

"The vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, 'The good outnumber you, and we always will.'”

See here's the thing - when we use technology and our community connections to build goodness and fight off danger, we build resilience and strength. That act, the act of protecting what we value, brings us together, makes us stronger, helps us feel deeper, treasure our minutes and remember that even though a threat is near, it will not undermine our lives.