Thank you, resilience

I missed yesterday’s post because I was spending time with my family, so here’s a special Saturday edition. 

Take a moment and appreciate the family you have, the mentors that gave you a helping hand throughout your life, and the love you’ve felt. These are prime candidates for what to be most thankful for this holiday season, but the thing I’m most thankful for is something a little more unconsidered: resilience.

I’ve talked about how being resilient is a part of being a good person. It’s more than that, though; it’s critical for societal advancement.

In sociology, there’s a concept known as the “vicious cycle of poverty.” It means that if you’re in poverty you’re likely to stay there.

There’s more than a vicious cycle of poverty in America – the vicious cycle of poverty is perhaps a symptom of the many others. Millions of households are inflicted with vicious cycles of mental illness; alcoholism and drug abuse; and emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. These households, often lacking meaningful and sustained intervention, are the homes of the people in America that fall through the socio-economic cracks.

I’ve known the people in these homes.

Many didn’t make it out.

There are aunts and uncles on cocaine and meth. Sons that are taught that violence is an appropriate expression of emotion. Daughters who must undergo suffering from those they’re supposed to be able to trust most. And mothers too broken by their past, rendered too weak to stand up for themselves. So they watch on – dotingly – as those they cherish most commit felony offenses.

Here’s to the few that make it out.

Here’s to the ones fighting for equity, having felt society’s most powerful blows.

Here’s to the ones overcoming, becoming an example rather than a statistic.

Thank you, resilience, for creating the role models, advocates, and case studies the world needs.