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The (Positive) Power of Harsh Realism

Photo by Brad Thiessen

A few weeks back I met a young man who has gone through a number of extremely tough experiences. He said "I'm so tired of people telling me I'm resilient. I hate that word. What choice do I have? I don’t want to have to be resilient.”

His point, basically, is that if nothing goes wrong, you don't have to be resilient. You only have to be resilient if things go bad. The more resilient you are, the bigger the brick that's been dropped on your foot.

I get it. People have often used that same word, resilient – along with its close cousin, positive – when they talk to me about how I’ve handled life.

Maybe. But what's the alternative?

If you aren't resilient, if you don't rise above your troubles, you'll crumble.

And if you aren't positive, you curdle into bitterness. I tried that after the first cancer. I don't recommend it.

There are many, many days I wish I didn't have to be so damned resilient and positive.