Living Arts Weekly: Stepping Stones

May 30, 2021

Resilience is more complex than simply popping up again.    -Joan Almon

This past “year and some months” was HARD for many people.

Parents, faced with the task of raising their young humans without the expected support systems, certainly felt the struggle.  According to a new study led by researchers from the University College London, rates of women with babies 6-months or younger meeting the criteria for postpartum depression more than doubled during the COVID-19 lockdowns, with new moms feeling isolated and without traditional support systems.

Now that restrictions are starting to loosen a bit in some places, and life is approaching “back to normal” in others, we can take stock of how we are doing. For many of us, it’s not simply a matter of jumping back into life as it was pre-pandemic.  Some of us will be carrying the weight of the Covid-19 burden for quite some time.

Joan Almon

It makes me think a lot about resilience.  As Joan Almon, a wise advocate and strong voice for early childhood who passed away in 2019, said, “Resilience is more complex than simply popping up again, although that is one aspect of it.  Reflecting on why we fall so that we can understand the experience is another. And using the experience of the fall—or the failure—for growth and transformation is yet another. Resilience in its fullest meaning embraces all of these. This multi-dimensional resilience allows us to face life’s obstacles and transform them into stepping stones.” [Read the entire article here.]

We can pause and take a critical look at where we thrived and where we struggled during the Covid-19 disruption. I’m not simply talking about our own families or businesses (although that is a great starting point), but also as a community. As a country. As a world.

Some Steps to Take

Maybe this year has taught you something about the fragility of our resources or our food system. Begin now to take steps to learn more about biodynamic, regenerative agriculture.  Support a local CSA or an organic or biodynamic farm.

Did virtual schooling take the light out of your children’s eyes? Begin to bring healing to your family and your community by participating in or supporting a local program doing outdoor, nature-based education.  Or help support a local private school whose teachers have worked hard to meet the needs of children in creative, in-person, soul-fortifying ways.  Or infuse your own family with experiences in nature (even your own backyard), and perhaps start inviting others to join you.  “Keep it simple” is always a good starting place.

Did you feel isolated and alone this past year? Work to build new face-to-face relationships with others who share your interests and values, and help support churches, mosques, synagogues or other organizations that are working to assist people in creating meaningful relationships.

It’s simply not in our best interest to return to things as they were.  The next worldwide disruption may be just around the corner.  Let’s take the time now to examine the things that made us stumble and turn those obstacles into stepping stones.

Mary O’Connell

for LifeWays North America

1 thought on “Living Arts Weekly: Stepping Stones”

  1. Yes! Thanks for the reminder to reflect on what has happened over the period of intense social change we have all gone through. What did we learn about ourselves, our communities and our country? Given what we now know, how can we learn and adapt?

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