Zupp Jabiru Dawn


Resilience seems to be uttered at regular intervals of late. From bushfires to floods and from pandemics to personal tragedy. The ability of the human spirit to bounce back in the face of adversity is an admirable quality . Even so, one person’s adversity is another’s daily reality. For some, the struggle to survive is set against competing for limited food and access to clean water – for others, it is persevering when the screen of their iPhone is cracked. Resilience needs to be considered with context.

That perspective can be grounded through appreciating the positive aspects of our lives. People can find it relatively easy to find a thousand things to complain about each day but struggle to articulate those things for which they are grateful. It’s an imbalance that is exacerbated by the picture perfect imagery of social media and our society of constant comparison.

I have been fortunate to be born into a privileged society and grown up in a state of relative comfort and security. My challenges have been minimal in the greater scheme of things. True, I have had setbacks along the way but when my airline career was halted due to an airline collapse – there were options to keep moving forward. Recently, when a health issue arose, I recognised that I live in a society where health care exists to detect, monitor and rectify such ailments.

I have always been able to maintain perspective due to two major mechanisms. Firstly, my time as a paramedic was a reality check which remains tangible to this day. Secondly, my father grew up through the Great Depression, was forced to leave school prematurely and served actively in two wars where his mates fell in the field. Despite this, he was a humble man who took the greatest satisfaction in raising his family. He was never short on time for us and never sought to compare himself with others, nor begrudged their successes.

Adversity is relative and it follows that resilience exists in differing degrees. We need to maintain perspective and rather than our setbacks taking on monstrous proportions, perhaps we should be thankful for all that has gone right for us in this wonderful country. Similarly, we should cast our gaze beyond reality television and tears cast for minor matters. We should look at those families with sick children, or homes and lives devastated by natural disasters to fully appreciate true resilience and to keep our own gripes in perspective.

As Christmas is upon us, there is so much for which to be thankful. Consider those things for which we are grateful and shelve our whinging and whining. There are folks around the world doing it tough – really tough. Spare a thought for them and admire their resilience and their ability to carry on in the face of real adversity.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to All.




Adaptability. Do It Like a Pilot Book