So whether you choose to perceive the dissolution of the American Dream as the hero’s journey or as the collapse of industrial civilization—or both, the American Dream was fated to fail each time the collective refused to be instructed by something greater than itself.
You see, resilience comes out of a struggle. That’s it, there’s no other way to get it. Take the wrong bus and end up at the wrong stop will build you resilience but only if you aren’t able to place a rescue call for someone to pick you up. Failing math and having to try harder: There’s a good one. Having to go to another soccer game and try again because the last time you mucked up and everyone is mad at you. Realizing that a course or activity you thought you’d enjoy is just terrible but sticking with it anyway, even though you’re sometimes miserable.
One of the really important things about resilience thinking is that it links together so many domains that we typically only looked at singly. Our thinking over the last 200 years has become very siloed, in part due to university structures, university careers, but also due to reasons beyond that. I think one of the really interesting things is that resilience crosses a lot of those boundaries between disciplines, because the general concept has applications in business and in the environment, but also in social communities. A really interesting part of resilience thinking is that you bring communities closer together so they have more options and can be more creative in responding to stress.
It is important to recognize inaccurate stereotypes about the simple life because they make it seem impractical and ill suited for responding to increasingly critical breakdowns in world systems. Four misconceptions about the simple life are so common they deserve special attention. These are equating simplicity with: poverty, moving back to the land, living without beauty and economic stagnation.