Don’t Mistake Silent Endurance for Resilience

Build resilient infrastructure

Countries have been grappling with the impact of climate change and extreme events as they pose various risks to people, infrastructure, economies and future development. A significant proportion of the economic losses due to extreme events is attributed to the loss and damage to infrastructure systems, thereby stressing the need for integrating disaster and climate resilience for infrastructure development. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed an unprecedented impact on infrastructure sectors worldwide.

“The pandemic has clearly brought out the need to focus on managing systems risks for strengthening resilience, a lesson one must heed, to make headway against climate change as well.”

Riya Rahiman – Senior Specialist for Infrastructure Resilience

Even though it has not led to direct damages to physical infrastructure, it led to interruptions in infrastructure services, with significant implications on economies. The outbreak is the latest reminder of the need to invest in resilient infrastructure. It exposed systemic risks across various sectors and underlying drivers such as poverty, poor health systems and limited social welfare schemes that perpetuated them. The risks cut across different sectors and strongly brought out the imperative to understand and address systemic and cascading dangers and fragilities…

Don’t Mistake Silent Endurance for Resilience

This article is part of a series on resilience in troubled times — what we can learn about it from history and personal experiences.

Mental health professionals like to say that we’re all floating around the world like little rubber bands. Image by Monika Aichele

“You are miserable,” my boss said, as I murmured in faint protest. “Every day you come in here with that grumpy face, and you make me look at it.” Despite the harsh words, her tone was laced with love and concern. And she was right: The job was not a fit.

I was a talent agent at a huge Hollywood agency in my 20s, representing emerging comedy actors. My role was to make my clients’ dreams come true. I loved that part — spotting talent, and getting them started on their journeys to fame and fortune — and I’m certain they would tell you now that I was good at it. But that was the only part that worked for me.

I didn’t enjoy the stuff that was supposed to be fun. One partner noticed I was spending too little on my expenses, instead of schmoozing. After a movie premiere, I got a talking-to for going straight to my seat instead of walking the red carpet with the cast, a ritual that made me want to evaporate, every time…

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