Human Resilience – Wisdom From The Past

My usual weekly blog posting for Blogs by Claire is a little different. While I do enjoy researching and writing and blogging as an author, it is not my day job. These may be my passion, but I am just as passionate about my day job – working with underprivileged young adults and their families to achieve their dream of a college education. It is my career, albeit extremely time consuming when my passion is not in the same field. Case in point, every summer I host an academic bootcamp of sorts for these high schoolers for six weeks at a local public university. This summer was no different. I spent the last six weeks living in residence with a group of high school students preparing for the college experience through rigorous academic coursework, fun residence life activities, guest lectures, and recreation time to burn off energy.

While their youth and vitality certainly kept me on my toes, I also realized that their young minds and spirits were maleable in my hands and whatever influence I may have had on them over the past six weeks could possibly determine how they viewed their future success. With that in mind, I searched for various quotes that have kept me going whenever life seemed too difficult, and situations seemed hopeless. Here are a few of my favorites:

That which does not kill you will make you stronger (Neitzsche).

Virtue is a state of war, and to live in it we have always to combat with ourselves (Rousseau)

The prize with which God rewards our self-abandonment is Himself (Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta).

The greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up everytime we fall (Confucius)

Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do (Matthew Kelly)

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage (Lao Tzu).

To work without love is slavery (Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta).

One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes (Eleanor Roosevelt).

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent (Eleanor Roosevelt).

Fecisti nos ad te, et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te. Translation: “You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.” (St. Augustine)

While some of these may seem religious in nature, the underlying lesson should be the point taken. Each of us strives to become something greater, or at least steer away from mediocrity. In order to achieve that, we must struggle – with ourselves, with decisions, with others’ ideologies and beliefs of who and what we are, with circumstances beyond our control. We all struggle. It is in the ones who push forward who become triumphant. Our work should speak for itself, and that being said, we need to work with pride. Taking pride in our work shows how much we love the work we do. It may not be the easiest task we are accomplishing, but when done with great love, it no longer becomes a chore, but rather a mission – our purpose. We best express ourselves in our actions, and the true revelation of our meaning is seen in what we do rather than what we speak. The quotes above are examples of how we are called to live with integrity and conviction in our hearts. They speak of human resilience and the spirit of conviction in us all.

Do you have a favorite quote that speaks of human resilience? How has it moved you forward in your life? Comment in the space provided.

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