Friday, June 27, 2008

Air Crash Survival and Resiliency/ Resiliencia

This was a new word for me some time ago. Only recently I ran into it. I found that it is in the basis of our survival and that explains very well why and how we have been able to live a normal life after our ordeal in the Andes.

Resiliency is the capacity of human beings to overcome adversities and to come out stronger than before from tough situations. The foundations of resiliency lie in the affections, in the solidarity and in the relationships with others. These foundations allow us to overcome our deepest sufferings, regardless of age and physical condition, to have a positive and active attitude towards life. Because “our history can explain our present, but not our future”. Resiliency is also about containing our injuries and starting to heal them from our healthy parts.

In this sense, we experienced resiliency many times. When we were stranded in the mountains, the group provided containment, warm feelings and support that made our experience bearable. No one was left by himself and I think no one could have survived in isolation. The group and being part of the group was very important in this resiliency process. Being together, praying together, eating together.................. the group gave us permission to live.

And later when we came back from the mountains, our families and friends gave us the necessary support to recover and live ordinary lives. They didn’t leave us alone, they provided love and all the understanding and comprehension that we needed.


Para mí, esta es una nueva palabra. La escuché por primera vez hace relativamente poco. Encuentro de que está en las bases de nuestra sobrevivencia y explica muy bien porqué y cómo hemos podido vivir una vida normal después de nuestra tragedia en los Andes.

Resiliencia es la capacidad de los seres humanos de superar adversidades y de salir más fortalecidos de ellas. Los fundamentos de la resiliencia están en los afectos, en la solidaridad y en las relaciones con los otros. Estos fundamentos nos permiten superar los sufrimientos más profundos, independientemente de nuestra edad o condición física, tener una actitud positiva y activa frente a la vida, porque “nuestra historia puede explicar el presente, pero no determina el futuro.” Resiliencia implica contener nuestras heridas y sanarlas desde nuestras partes sanas.

En ese sentido, nosotros experimentamos las condiciones para la resiliencia muchas veces. Cuando estábamos perdidos en la montaña, el grupo proveía la contención, el cariño y el apoyo que hicieron que nuestra experiencia fuera soportable. Nadie fue dejado solo y creo que ninguno podría haber sobrevivido separado del grupo, por si mismo. El grupo, y pertenecer al grupo fue muy importante en este proceso resiliente. Estar juntos, rezar juntos, comer juntos............... el grupo nos dio permiso para vivir.

Y después cuando volvimos de la montaña, nuestras familias y amigos nos dieron el necesario apoyo para recuperarnos y vivir vidas normales. No nos dejaron solos, nos dieron todo el amor y la comprensión que en ese momento necesitamos.


Anonymous said...

What you explain in the last paragraph...I always wonder how the families made to help you all have a normal and ordinary life after that amazing ordeal. As you say, it was love and support, but I always think of their fear or doubtness if they were doing the right thing at that time. I know they did, the 16 families succeeded and as a parent, I give my full respects to them! I'm learning from them, also.
Well I think this comment wasn't so much about Resilency but the last paragraph capture my mind for it is exactly what I've wondered (of many things of your story) about.
Thank you Pedro for teaching us this new word and meaning. And for teaching us SO MUCH of you and your amazing story!

Gracias Pedro. Greetings from TX


susan said...

The topic of resilience is a big one in education, especially concerning children and youth at risk for school failure or dropping out. Besides the factors such as you mentioned (support from friends and family, both to survive an ordeal and to move on in life after it is over), there are pre-disposing factors that tend to foster resilience in individuals. Not surprisingly, a strong family, belonging to a supportive community, cohesive values, emotional security and so on are very important -- much more so than any economic factors.

A lot of the relevant factors are summarized in this Wikipedia entry, which also links to some interesting articles:
Psychological Resilience

A lot of work is being done with children and families around developing resiliency. Here are some good links:

Growing Resilient

Voices for Children

It is not only during and after a tragedy or crisis that resiliency can be supported or developed, but the seeds can be planted and nourished ahead of time. This was surely a factor in your case as well.

Susan S.
Ontario, Canada

: Cervantes : said...


Le envio saludos desde Coahuila, México.

Hace relativamente poco tiempo descubri su blog.

Lo he leído todo y me ha encantado la forma en que relata las experiencias de su vida.

Tengo 23 años y he tenido unos problemas que me han dejado un tanto perdida, pero la forma en que redacta sus escritos me ha ayudado, puesto que en ellos he encontrado una especie de consejos (realmente no se si esta sea la palabra) que de una u otra forma me han servido para bien.

Pero al leer este post "Resilencia" me di cuenta de un montón de cosas y se me aclararón otras.

Muy buen blog.

Patricia Cervantes
Saltillo, Coahuila, México.