Some hear the word “resilience” and think of a stoic figure, solid and unmoved, by the events taking place, the enemies threatening, or the storm raging. This image often is of a warrior from an ancient time who is victorious over anything and everything. However, the image that most resembles “resilience” is a tennis ball. The ball is crushed and rebounds. It is designed to answer a reasonably expected crushing blow by expanding back to its original shape as quickly as it can so it can be ready for the next, coming impact. There is something important in both images. We may need to be logical and unwilling to let our emotions drive us to acting without wisdom or thought. This is the stoic warrior. This can be an extremely important mindset when emergencies take place. However, even stoic warriors are defeated, hurt, and in need of rest. It is the wisdom of the warrior to understand and expect this eventuality. Stoic is defined as, “a person who accepts what happens without complaining or showing emotion” (Merriam-Webster, 2021). The importance of the tennis ball is that crushing blows are, well, crushing. We hope to build ourselves and our children to understand that bad news is an expected part of life. However, like the tennis ball we hope to also build ourselves emotionally so that we can bounce back as soon as reasonable. If you are struggling with a crushing blow, pick up a tennis ball and consider how you can best bounce back. Realize that even tennis balls get worn down. Sometimes they can be revived with strong and steady support all around them. Sometimes it’s time to start over and invest in a new ball.
Merriam-Webster. (2021). Stoic. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved September 14, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stoic.