Resilience will be a buzzword over the next several weeks as we watch the citizens of Paris recover from the horrific events of last Friday. Already we hear of their courage as they venture out back into the streets honoring the victims with flowers, tears, and moments of silence. Soon this will be replaced with children playing, tourists sightseeing and lovers hugging. La résilience is inevitable.
The healing begins immediately with a call to arms—our fight response—justifiably derived from our wanting to seek vengeance against those that hurt us. This is our biological response to what happened. While governments try to determine what action must be taken to address these terrorist acts, each of us does whatever helps us to explain and cope with the crisis. For one of my relatives it was taking out his arsenal of weapons and cleaning them up in preparation for what he sees as a battle of civilizations. For another it was changing her Facebook profile to include the colors in the French flag in sympathy with all of France.
The resilience model suggests that there is usually nothing that can be done to keep these kinds of events from happening. After all, terrorism in one form or another has been going on since living beings appeared on earth. Yet, resilience also shows us that we will recover from this attack on our culture and will learn something about it and ourselves. The question each of us has to ask is what we can or are able to do to make some small contribution to bring peace and sanity to the world.
© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2015