ABSTRACT

This chapter argues that resilience is a strength that people can access, not only during, but even before a profound event. Resilience will often only become visible in the face of adversity. The worst type of adversity is called ‘trauma’: an event that is perceived as shocking, leading to psychological and emotional wounding, in a situation that requires more resilience than the person is able to muster at that time. The term resilience is mostly applicable in the face of adversity. Without adversity, without challenge, there seems to be no reason to show resilient behavior. The brain is receiving plenty of attention. The question is whether brain activity that is visible on scans, before people become aware of it, actually indicates that ‘the brain’ has already made a choice beyond the person and their own preference. The wiring in the brain is aimed at avoiding risks and pain in order to allow humankind to continue to exist as a species.