When I think about resilience, I consider historic figures, family members, and contemporary mentors who model this quality. Alongside this key quality, these folks also were/are people of unshakable integrity whose rock- solid principles informed and inspired their resilience.

Abraham Lincoln was an exemplar of resilience but fueling his resilience was his unrelenting belief in the sacred nature of Union and Democracy. Harriett Tubman exuded a bull-dog brand of persistence nourished by her fierce commitment to freedom and fearless determination to leading slaves to freedom. No one was more persistent in the cause of human rights than Eleanor Roosevelt but that persistence was inspired by her deeply held belief in the dignity of all. Martin Luther King, Jr. never gave up in his 13 year leadership of the tumultuous Civil Rights movement (1955-1968) but he could not have carried on without a doggedly tenacious faith in his God and in the timeless ideals of his country.

Resilience is absolutely essential to a fulfilling life but there is a deeper, more soulful commitment that in turn gives critical life and energy to resilience.

Billy Peebles


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