Most of us don’t have the luxury of running away or hiding from our obstacles because WE have something very specific we’re trying to do. No one is coming to save us! The obstacles won’t un-obstacle themselves. And if want to go where we say we want to go - to accomplish our goals - there is only one way, and that’s to meet our obstacles and challenges with resilience.
Resilience is having the ability to bounce back when things don't go as planned. ''It is the trait of resiliency above all others, that makes you a winner'' - Denis Waitley.
Resilience is the strength and speed of our response to adversity. It’s a skillset we develop over the course of our lives, and there are concrete steps we can take to build resilience long before we face any kind of difficulty. When I think of the word resilience I often reflect on the enduring spirit of the Windrush Generation and our history of overcoming adversity.
Growing up, one of the things that struck me was the way these pioneers were able to build strong communities, work together and take themselves on against the odds. They had so little resources but managed to accomplish great things. We all heard the stories about the infamous “No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs” notices in terms of housing. The true grit of the Windrush generation shone through that.
They bought houses and then rented rooms to each other to remove the barriers they faced. Our elders were turned away from churches – so what did they do? Church was at the centre of their communities in the Caribbean, and they started prayer meetings in the living rooms of their homes, then moved into school halls and community centres.
It is clear that the story of the Windrush generation's resilience must be shared, appreciated, celebrated, taught and used as a tool of empowerment for all. They have illustrated the creativity, understanding, strength, and courage of a people who have not only been able to endure, but have strived and created success under extremely difficult conditions.
We need to share their stories to inspire the next generation: that they become aware of our history and the significant contribution of our elders, who were such leaders and pioneers.