Posted by M ws On Tuesday, October 13, 2009 5 comments
One of my fondest memories as a child is going by the river and sitting idly on the bank. There I would enjoy the peace and quiet, watch the water rush downstream, and listen to the chirps of birds and the rustling of leaves in the trees. I would also watch the bamboo trees bend under pressure from the wind and watch them return gracefully to their upright or original position after the wind had died down.

When I think about the bamboo tree's ability to bounce back or return to it's original position, the word resilience comes to mind. When used in reference to a person this word means the ability to readily recover from shock, depression or any other situation that stretches the limits of a person's emotions.

Have you ever felt like you are about to snap? Have you ever felt like you are at your breaking point? Thankfully, you have survived the experience to live to talk about it.

During the experience you probably felt a mix of emotions that threatened your health. You felt emotionally drained, mentally exhausted and you most likely endured unpleasant physical symptoms.

Life is a mixture of good times and bad times, happy moments and unhappy moments. The next time you are experiencing one of those bad times or unhappy moments that take you close to your breaking point, bend but don't break. Try your best not to let the situation get the best of you.

A measure of hope will take you through the unpleasant ordeal. With hope for a better tomorrow or a better situation, things may not be as bad as they seem to be. The unpleasant ordeal may be easier to deal with if the end result is worth having.

If the going gets tough and you are at your breaking point, show resilience. Like the bamboo tree, bend, but don't break!

by: Author Unknown, Weekly Thought


  1. says:

    walla I won't pretend to be wise for my age but i would like to share a small perspective and only because mws has again written so engagingly.

    When i was small, i too was predisposed to seek solace from solitude. In the evenings, i would take long walks. There was a hill. I would climb up to its top and sit at the edge just to watch the sunset in orange. Birds would merrily chase each other and because i could appreciate oldies for their melodies and lyrics, the songs by groups like the Carpenters and Bread would be hummed to complement the mood.

    Were such moments formative? Perhaps. But i am also starting to be aware that too much self-reflection can be counterproductive. If not properly balanced, they can take up too much living space which would otherwise be accorded to, well, living. And living, it seems to be constantly repeated every day to us, is invariably about taking on responsibilities and going about completing tasks that will help others and to touch them in such ways as their lighten their loads from life. As was wont said, we live on but only insofar as we live for others....

    It therefore remains to ask: is there a levelling effect in life? We start different but somehow our lives all converge to one meeting plane before diverging again.

    There may be different ways of communicating and interacting but, inside, there is much in common. What is decent, positive, elevating, practical, as opposed to what is destructive, unsustainable, debilitating and affected.

    Good friends are a blessing when they are given the chance to shine their light on these divergencies which themselves happen during moments of lowest tide which again may be traced to some painful experiences that lingered in the past echoing into the present whose resolution in turn would seem to be needing the pure emotions of love, care and compassion.

    And, perhaps, there is much practical wisdom in the oriental belief that life is made of levels of achievement measured by love, care and compassion for others.

    The less we dwell on our past to serve our own present, and the more we dwell on our present to serve the future of others, the higher our own elevation through the labyrinth of sorrows and joys.

    Perhaps, again, sorrows and joys are the result of past deeds in other geographies, settings and life forms. And the algorithm to break the recurring cycle of such ebbs and tides is to embrace love, care and compassion for others, thereby shifting the centre of focus from ourselves, for without the 'i' or 'id', where's the pain to reside in? By the same token, there will be such an overflow of joy in the absence of pain that it will flow into the lives of others, thereby reinforcing the method so applied....

  1. says:

    walla Which comes back to resilience. It is a decision-making issue. If we are resilient, it can mean we are resolute in using the same method over and again to combat the recurring problems.

    Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't and the resilient person may actually be betting on the wrong horse over and over again, living on a belief that being resilient is all that is needed.

    Those who are trained in science may tell us it's better to experimental. If one method doesn't work, use its conclusions to fashion another.

    Which comes to signals from life. Some will be born with blessings like good parents and social settings. Others will be less fortunate. But if the levelling effect of life is really true, then all will come to that common plane where they will individually be asked what they think and how they feel about how life has evolved for them.

    Perhaps at that moment, all should just count one's small blessings, no matter how small they be. To have good health is a big blessing too often seen small. If we look into the eyes of the many bedded in crammed hospital wards, they reveal the pathos and pain of their lives. If we look into the eyes of the young who have not had the love and warmth of natural parenting, they reveal the deep pain that only because of their age they could not say out... as if that is any consolation... And if we see the dispossessed and the poor, the needy and infirmed, the indebted and troubled, the mind-weakened and the loveless, we see the recurring cycles of life beating their monotonic drums. Yet for each there is a small blessing somewhere. Perhaps an unblemished conscience that is day by day laying the foundation for a better tomorrow in another plane of existence. Perhaps a new hope that despite a poorly written script for this, their lives now, there will be a better and more revivifying script being written for them that's just awaiting the finishing touches.

    Thus to love, care and compassion, add hope. For it is hope which will activate the good already in each of us.

    We live but a few decades. That is a given. A fact that cannot be changed. We zip past each other like faceless strangers only made less strange when we start to discern the common plane of the levelling effect of life. Soon enough all will pass. But the humanity in us yearns to make each transient moment something which signals our own individual statements.

    This can be mine for thee.

  1. says:

    Antares Hmmm... who is this "Walla" who writes so fluidly, yet doesn't appear to have her (or is it his) own blog? All I found on the profile was a gorgeous photo and no other info!

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Sorry to disappoint you, Walla. I did not write this beautiful piece as indicated at the end of the post.

    Thanks for sharing your warm memories. Sadly, in the face of environmental destruction and the lack of affinity with Mother Nature, few children would partake in such unforgettable pursuits.

    To me, being a good friend means one gives the other the freedom to be himself or herself without imposing a need to conform to set patterns of behavior or expectations.

    And like what I have written many times in this blog, the past affects the present but it is up to us to make the present a beautiful past that we have a future to look forward to and to be hopeful.

    Yup - resilience is a choice determined by our will. That is why I changed the original title from Bend but not break to I will Bend but I will never break.

    Previously, I was a weakling, easily floored by circumstances. Thanks to wise and caring friends, I fall but I rise again more easily now.

    Resilience - a much needed characteristic in a cruel world!

    And we will survive in the tradition of gloria gaynor.

    In the mean time, it is all up to us to make our lives count, to engage in meaningful relationships/pursuits that will determine the type of legacy we leave behind.

    Thanks for your wise and elegant thoughts and the time taken to share with us. I really appreciate your kindness.

    Have a nice day!

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Hi Antares

    Ah - Walla is a very interesting character - brains and beauty rolled in one.

    Indeed, she must start a blog or publicise her blog if she already has one.

    Take care, dear Antares. Have a great day!


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