CAPS - ACÉAU

Resilience/Résilience

Andrew McMurry is an associate professor in English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo. His article "The Rhetoric of Resilience" in the Alternatives Journal 36:2 brings a fundamental deeper insight worthwhile quoting.

"Resilience answers nicely to the real and rhetorical exigence. To be sure, resilience is in one sense merely the capacity of systems to absorb stress and maintain or even repair themselves. But resilience is also metaphor that embodies a number of characteristics that Aristotle required of all good figures of speech: it is active, primordial, conciense and appropriate.

Resilience implies action, as in "building resilience". To be resilient suggests an inner toughness: the strength, as its etymology tells us, to "jump back" to a previous state. Sustainability, by contrast, suggests a defensive posture: a desirability to stay the same, to resist change, without the attractive ability to push back against change and win out. Resilience also connotes a measure of risk, while sustainability suggests that systems are set: they simply need to be cared for and  so carried forward. Resilience acknowledges that risk is a constant, and that systems are always in a struggle against dissipation. If the seas are always calm and the water mild, you don't need to be resilient. But in this world, you must be resilient." (p. 22, italics as in original text)

resilience-fig

Diagram Above, by Resilience Alliance.

 

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