In this follow up post to the Language of Resilience I, I continue to share words and phrases, the language of resilience, to help reinforce the concepts and ideas of resilience.
These words and phrases of resilience are words that I have noted in conferences or through personal study that have resonated with me. I enjoy words and certain words sit well me well. This is the case here.
Here’s the Language of Resilience II, enjoy!
Positive Cascade– Starting from a strengths-based perspective, a positive cascade is spreading the effects of resilience across other domains of life. Say, for example, that a child does extremely well in art in school but poor in all other academic and behavioral areas. The notion of positive cascades would be to look for ways to take what is working in art and cascade it to other functions. This same notion obviously holds true for adults. Maybe there’s a lot going “wrong” in life. It’s likely that somewhere (seeing through the darkness) there is something to grab hold of and begin to positively cascade it to other functional areas of life. (Dr. Ann Masten)
Grow Edges– is mostly synonymous with positive cascades. What are those edges in our life that are growing well? Okay, now, how do we begin to grow them laterally and outward. We grow edges where we can, focusing on the positive and cascading forward. Resilience begets resilience.
Windows of Opportunity– This term also comes from Dr. Ann Masten. It suggests that there is more leverage at certain points in our lifespan for building resilience. Sometimes, conditions converge for positive change. A good example is a young man of 18 years of age leaving an adverse environment for college or the military and doing well in the new environment with new support systems in place.
The Cost of Adversity– Again, Dr. Masten. The long story short is that terrible experiences leave scars and even doing well after adversity often exacts a cost.
Ecology of Resilience– This is one of my favorite terms and I noted it from Dr. Michael Unger. Remember that Dr. Unger speaks about navigating and negotiating for the resources that we need to do well? This term suggests that resilience is not an individual trait but exists within social and cultural ecologies. It’s brilliant. Notice how this notion of ecology of resilience conflicts with the John Wayne notion of individual “grit.”
Enduring Presence– Resilience considered in the spaces and places around us, the systems that are available to help, must always be there. For resources and interventions to be helpful, they must demonstrate that they are always present. Again, in our own lives, those relationships that we lean on for support within our tribe (social ecology) are trusted because they are always present. This phrase is from Dr. Unger.
Resilience Mentor– Perhaps as we face adversity in our lives and we move toward wellbeing, we need a resilience mentor who can show us a pathway toward wellbeing. I believe we all need a mentor in our life, and especially someone who has faced adversity and is now doing well.
Resilience Architecture– This is another one of my favorite resilience phrases. I am not sure to whom to attribute it. As I understand the term, it is not referencing building design. Resilience Architecture has to do with approaching human ecologies as a whole and building resilience into them, which is the very notion of this blog. The 100 Resilient Cities initiative comes to mind as an example. 100 Resilient Cities focuses on physical, social, and economic cities around the world from a resilience perspective. From an individual resilience perspective, resilience architecture is based on developing promotive factors and systems in ones life to help support wellbeing.
Upstream Factors– When resilience is promoted today, and wellbeing is found, it is likely that a variety of “upstream factors” in the future and down the road will be positive as a result of our efforts today. There’s no telling what we are warding off tomorrow by our efforts at promoting resilience in our lives today.
Biology of Resilience– A dance between the individual organism and society and culture around us. (Dr. Catherine Panter-Brick)
Well, faithful readers, that’s it for the Language of Resilience. My time spent writing these posts are intended to do good and help those who may be facing adversity and to those who will face adversity in the future. I share this information to help pre-design grit and resilience into social ecologies. Maybe the information I put on these pages is also intended to help my children and students somewhere down the line, if needed.