Resilience is a word thrown around a lot, it seems. Government loves using it. The IPCC has referenced it. Social scientists warn we should cultivate it. Whole programmes have grown around ‘building’ it. We are collectively being urged to be emotionally, physically, and financially resilient to whatever the word throws our way. Once this could have been excused as a wellbeing slogan—that building resilience would equate to ‘inner peace’. But, in truth, this call for resilience is being pushed out there without the town criers really understanding the baseline.
What exactly are we needing to be resilient about?
Over the past two years I have certainly experienced, first-hand, the need to cultivate each of these three forms of resilience in the face of dramatic change. I now understand there is a baseline for survival. First there was the climate chaos wildfires that destroyed my world, then the clearing of rubble, and then rebuilding structures and fencing (we are on a farm) and the structure of a life, while overcoming the trauma of the event. These were physical and emotional challenges. Then there was the financial need to keep our publishing business afloat during a pandemic when bookstores were shuttered, and the reading world turned to Amazon. We are far from having ticked the resilience boxes on the metaphorical form but we are getting there.
Throughout these trials, we have learned that at the coalface of climate chaos there is a fourth, perhaps even more crucial, form of resilience that is rarely spoken of—community resilience. This form of resilience is vital to surviving the times ahead, yet in a world constructed to have us all trust in a big system to deliver us safe food and water, shelter and welfare, it easily overlooked and rarely spoken about by the political class.
My first-hand experience of firestorms and rain bombs tells me community resilience is key. It is in community that you find shared purpose, as well as skills and understanding that compliment your own. There is an energy and strength that builds when people gather to talk, or share, or discuss.
So I am doing something about cultivating it. My first step is to host community climate resilience discussions, face-to-face and online.
Connecting with people is important. People you trust. People who understand and don’t belittle your fears. If you’d like a safe opportunity to talk, send me an email about the dates and times below, and I’ll arrange a zoom call for a group of us to meet. No cost, no catch. No pre-selling any courses. Just me offering to listen and looking forward to talking with you.
These dates are in my local time – Australian Central Daylight Time. If you are elsewhere in the world, goto https://www.timeanddate.com/ and ‘meeting planner’ and plug in Adelaide and your nearest city.
Email me with your preference. I’ll set to Zoom for the majority and will post an event invite.