Today we celebrate the availability of BounceBack online. These are my thoughts.
A Path to Resilience
I worked in the human/social services field for forty-four years. I tried everything on the menu from non-profits to educational and medical institutions, self-employment, and government service. I was searching for the system that wasn’t flawed and/or broken. There was always something blocking the path to consistently effective service. Lack of funding, lack of staffing. Inadequate training or inconsistent support from co-workers, supervisors and/or the community. And then there are the unexpected (and sometimes tragic) changes that are implemented by unknowing bureaucrats in terms of how much and what type of services they determine necessary. Try as I may I never found the system that wasn’t flawed. Many were in fact broken.
What I learned from years of frustration was that no system will ever be perfect. So the best I could hope for was to help people become resilient enough to navigate the systems that they depend upon; to become strong enough to see these services as a stepping stone on their journey rather than their destination. This is when I happened upon Maine Resilience, Dr. Ron Breazeale, and my current colleagues. They were teaching resilience skills through storytelling; to people with disabilities and immigrants at the time. I knew this was where I needed my focus to be.
I have since retired and devoted my attention to this endeavor. BounceBack is the result of the many stories told about real-world challenges faced by folks just like you and me. By sharing these challenges, a list of coping skills and forum in which to apply them, we hope to build more resilient individuals and communities. By doing so we empower people to shift their attention toward becoming less focused on systems for coping with adversity and more focused on managing the challenges of the 21st. century
Charlene Fernald Moynihan
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Image Credit: By Moyan Brenn from Anzio, Italy (Forest) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons