Know what it’s like when —

  • Things aren’t going as you planned
  • Feelings of unwelcome take over
  • Profound helplessness smothers hope

Feeling betrayed, deeply offended, or just royally pissed when —

  • Mocked by someone in a group meeting
  • Called a vulgar name by someone online you’ve never met
  • Ignored by others who watch, remain silent, do nothing or offer empty cliches

Facing adversity is a part of living. The search for ways to stave off the pain never-ending while proposed solutions rumble between people.

And then there’s relief–a common ground we all literally walk– elevating goodwill between us:

H u m a n i t y– the great connector.

Like the quote from Ram Dass suggests, it’s as basic (and simply awesome) as walking each other home.

In this article:

Here are two examples of how to move in front of adversity and elevate goodwill USING good old, simple human connection.

Let’s start walking.

Example One– Move in front of adversity by taking time to be interested and learn about the other.

Popular comedian Sarah Silverman received a vulgar comment from an online reader.

Instead of throwing a vulgar comment back (which she is capable of doing quite well), she took time to explore his Facebook timeline and let him know she was interested in his story and believed he was hurting.

In a short time of “walking together” and listening as well as sharing, they found solutions. These solutions involved others who joined them.

Uplifting story. The goodwill for everyone, including and especially for Sarah Silverman and the online reader is far-reaching.

Responding with interest instead of strife moved them in front of adversity and elevated goodwill.

Example Two– Move in front of adversity by recognizing your vulnerabilities.

Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) is a process which provides support to people who have experienced an unexpected, usually traumatic life event. The support is educational around normal reactions people can experience and welcomes voluntary sharing of  thoughts, feelings and discussion around coping strategies.

As a CISD responder, I agreed to meet with a small group of employees who experienced an act of violence (robbery during business hours).

Here are three unique ways these employees moved in front of adversity by recognizing their vulnerabilities:

— Marsha realized how emotionally strong she has grown over the years since facing a previous violent incident that happened years ago. Yes, the disturbance is still there, yet, what would have felt paralyzing in the past did not phase her now. Despite the scary reality of witnessing the robbery, she celebrated her personal growth.
— Phyllis shared sadness for the robber—someone she imagined was desperate and made a bad choice. She feels the robber (arrested by the police) should be held accountable, but realizes how she or anyone could face hard times and make wrong decisions. She notes the expensive surroundings and asks herself, is she so busy she fails to notice the pain of others? Is she spending time doing what really matters?
— Mark acknowledged he had a hard time coming back to work this morning. His wife encourages him to share more about how he feels and he realizes how his uncle (who raised him) taught him (beat him) that it is a weakness to share emotions. He shows his kids and wife that he loves them. He’s thinking about what it would be like to tell them.

Strength, compassion, and a readiness to verbalize feelings with family were personal takeaways which moved these employees in front of adversity.

Goodwill? We were all grateful to have this time together.

Here’s your takeaway:

Adversity is a part of life. Overwhelming, sorrowful, and/or impossible to comprehend we’re living with adversity.

Moving in front of adversity involves connecting to our humanity and being open to the experience of others—learning about others and sharing common ground. Finding personal strengths to acknowledge, compassion to share and personal limitations to discard feels good.

Walking each other home— elevating goodwill along the way. Great combo.

What do you think? What keeps you hopeful during adversity?

Want to get in front of difficulties and find your stride? Let’s meet today and take a walk.