“To strengthen a stone arch, the architects increase the load which is laid upon it, for thereby the parts are joined more firmly together.” - Viktor Frankl
In “A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster,” Rebecca Solnit chronicles five of the most significant disasters to occur over a 99 year span in North America, from the San Francisco Earthquake to Hurricane Katrina. Our common story about disasters tends to center on misbehavior and trauma. She counters that careful study reveals “the prevalent human nature in disaster is resilient, resourceful, generous, empathetic and brave.” We come together. And, “that purposefulness and connectedness bring joy even amid the death, chaos, fear, and loss.” None of us would have chosen the 2020 we’ve received with all its compounded tragedy and pain, but it’s the one we have… and offers a respite from the daily grind and race to pursue the RI mission, finding meaning and purpose in life, and reconnecting with ourselves and others.
David is CEO and President of RI International. He’s a behavioral health innovator, entrepreneur and storyteller, and the creator of HopeInc.com.