Celebrating Resilience


RECOVERING WITH RESILIENCE 

Image credit: The Boston Globe

Image credit: The Boston Globe

Blade runner Patrick Downes finishes race
by Andy Rosen and Martine Finucane
The Boston Globe

Three years ago this week, Patrick Downes and his wife Jessica Kensky were at the finish line of the Boston Marathon when the bombs went off. As a result, both lost lower legs and have since faced immensely difficult recoveries. This past Monday, as Jessica cheered, Patrick became one of the first Boston Marathon bombing survivors to run and finish the 26.2 mile race. After running over the finish line and hugging his wife, Patrick told Boston's local CBS: “We made a vow, and it doesn’t matter what obstacles come our way. We just stick together. We work really hard at it, and we have incredible support of our family and friends and medical staff that just help us keep going.” While to many of us Patrick and Jessica's experience is unthinkable, have there been times when you thought your life was over, metaphorically or otherwise, only to be surprised by your own resilience and that of loved ones? What kept you going?


RESILIENCE AFTER TRAGEDY

Image credit: Calgary Metro

Image credit: Calgary Metro

Rwandan genocide survivor brings kids together through soccer
by Jennifer Friesen
Calgary Metro

In 1993, after escaping the Rwandan genocide, Jean-Claude Munyezamu, then 19 years old, found his way to the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. It was there that he began teaching children how to make soccer balls out of discarded plastic bags, just as he did when he was young. Although he told the Calgary Metro that it was his first foray into volunteer work, it became his way of life. Resettled and working as a taxi driver in Calgary, Canada, Munyezamu started Soccer Without Boundaries in 2010 as an outreach program to help integrate new Canadians (refugees and immigrants) into their community. Because the work is completely volunteer for him, Munyezamu is used to the children asking him why he does what he does. His answer? "I hope you would do the same. I think, for genocide survivors, we wonder if we deserved surviving. Maybe there’s a reason we’re still chasing to find. I might not have knowledge from a book, but I have knowledge from experience, so I can make a difference with that.” Indeed he can. Read more about Soccer Without Boundaries here


CAPTURING RESILIENCE

Image credit: Daniel Jackson, MIT

Image credit: Daniel Jackson, MIT

Portraits of Resilience
by Professor Daniel Jackson
The Tech Online Edition, MIT

Portraits of Resilience is a photography and interview series by Prof. Daniel Jackson at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology. Each installment consists of a portrait and a story, told in the subject’ own words, of how they found resilience and meaning in their life. You can view some of the moving portraits and stories here.


CHILDHOOD & RESILIENCE

Image credit: Youth Today

Image credit: Youth Today

Sundance Film: Understand Huge Impact of Tough Childhood Events, Build Resilience
by Stell Simonton
youthtoday.org

Through filming the new documentary Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope, filmmaker James Redford set out to portray the impact that a tough childhood can have on a young person, their aptitude for resilience, and what happens if they don’t get help. A key takeaway from the film, as described in this article, is that kids are not doomed to poor outcomes; resilience is built, not inborn. The film advocates for a public-health effort to address childhood adversity, "not only to relieve children’s suffering, but to prevent the ills that follow." What do you think? How can we all work to support one another in building resilience?