resilience reporter

resilience starts with information

The Dark Side of Resilience

The Dark Side of Resilience

darth vader

Resilience, defined as the psychological capacity to adapt to stressful circumstances and to bounce back from adverse events, is a highly sought-after personality trait in the modern workplace. As Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant argue in their recent book, we can think of resilience as a sort of muscle that contracts during good times and expands during bad times.

In that sense, the best way to develop resilience is through hardship, which various philosophers have pointed out through the years: Seneca noted that “difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body” and Nietzsche famously stated “that which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” In a similar vein, the United States Marine Corps uses the “pain is just weakness leaving the body” mantra as part of their hardcore training program.

But could too much resilience be a bad thing, just like too much muscle…


Norfolk resilience programs adopted by Paris, Sydney

The cities of Paris and Sydney, Australia, have adopted two of Norfolk’s resilience programs focused on creating a planning vision for resilience and stimulating resident participation in reducing floods.

Sydney adopted Vision 2100 and Paris adopted the Retain Your Rain initiative during the annual Urban Resilience Summit hosted by 100 Resilient Cities in New York in July.

Christine Morris, Norfolk’s chief resilience officer, said the two initiatives focused a plan to be the coastal community of the future and are meant to help put actions into place for infrastructure, processes and behaviors that mitigate environmental risks like sea level rise.


“In my mind, resiliency is really about reducing risk to an identified threat. So when we say that we want to be the coastal community of the future, there are multiple threats to that,” she said. “There’s the threat of rising seas, the increasing threat of heavy rain, the potential economic disruption to infrastructure…


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