Resiliencing Wisdom for Covid Safety
Wise sayings are all about living and being (https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/wise-sayings) and mostly don’t provide answers. If you are stressed out, lonely, frazzled or confused: go for a walk, say hello, coffee with someone, smell the flowers or take in a mountain/ocean view. No, we want easy fix, simple solutions. Not so with Wisdom.
When we think of the stressors of Covid-19 and mental health pressures we need plenty of Resiliencing Wisdom.
The topic of wisdom isn’t found much in the pages of safety conferences or associations. You won’t find anything in the AIHS BoK on wisdom, even in the module on Ethics. How unfortunate, that the idea of wisdom isn’t of much interest to an industry that loves behaviourist black and white answers in a quest for zero.
In responses to the mental health challenges in Covid we see continued prominence of the individualist-behaviourist paradigm that doesn’t work. We also see evidence of this in government responses too. Throwing money at therapists and counsellors is rarely a panacea for mental health challenges.
Resiliencing is NOT about ‘pulling your self up by your boot laces’, resiliencing is not about systems engineering or about Nietzsche’s ‘eternal return’ to what was. Neither is Resiliencing Wisdom about aging although wisdom is about grey-ness. Resiliencing Wisdom is about being content to be in-between, to be able to ‘rest’ in the hyphen without the quest for the extremes (https://safetyrisk.net/x-to-zero-and-zero-to-x/).
In Resiliencing there is no stasis. Resilience is not a state but resiliencing is a disposition, a dynamic and continuing way of being. In Resiliencing Wisdom we know that continual moving forward in social connection and meaning-making is about enactments that cannot be measured. There is no comfort for the ‘soul’ in metrics, numerics or measurement, so Safety is not likely to be able to offer much help in mental health. There’s no resiliencing in brutalism.
In Resiliencing Wisdom we find comfort and solace in connection, listening and Poetics. A cup of coffee/tea, a shared song or conversational walk taps into the ecological need of being fallibly human as the source to Wisdom. I have written about this before:
One of the characteristics of the individualist-behaviourist paradigm is the quick fix, the silver bullet, the snake oil black and white saviour. How strange to sell snake oil that doesn’t work to a thirsty populace indoctrinated with the delusions of zero!
Resiliencing Wisdom is in another world to the toxicity of behaviourism. The world is NOT about behaviours, behaviours are just the visual evidence of what is hidden, what is unconsciously driving decisions. Whilst behaviourist fixes are shallow Resiliencing Wisdom seeks depth, meaning and Hope. Resiliencing Wisdom envisions presence whereas behaviourism is seduced by presents.
So where do we find Resiliencing Wisdom? Probably in places that are ordinary and everyday and maybe sometimes in counseling chambers, but not often. Helping is often found in the little things more than the big things. Helping is found in movement not stasis. Helping is found in what counts not the process of counting.
There are several authors I also find helpful for Resiliencing Wisdom such as Benner – Human Being and Becoming; Cameron – Walking in This World; Palmer – To Know as We Are Known and recently Shepherd – Radical Wholeness.
I often hope for the day when Safety might talk much more about Resiliencing Wisdom that it does about ‘fixing’, when it might talk more about ‘helping’ more than ‘policing’. And in all the uncertainty in Covid and an unknown future we need more messages of Resiliencing Wisdom than we need talk of stasis.