There’s an old saying that notes: when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Easier said than done if we lack the skills and tools for the situation being confronted.
In this article by Eliot Kersgaard: Antifragility is the Age of Crisis, he writes about the need to have five (5) resources that we can call on. First lets outline the current position we are living in.
The ever-unfolding and interlocking nature of crisis today is an opportunity to strengthen our systems for the better. We are innately equipped and ready to do so, and the tools at our disposal are accessible to all. This article covers five ways to increase human civilization’s antifragility in the age of crisis, says Kersgaard.
Today the world is in a state of perpetual crisis. Impacts of acute stressors such as climate change, pandemic, and war cascade far beyond their immediate effects. Reactions to crises such as these create new crises in their wake. These ripples demonstrate the fragility of basic life support systems such as food and medicine.
During a crisis, many system functions are limited or eliminated, leaving people without work and resources. Other functions must be quickly scaled up but lack the labor or materials needed to do so. How we react to redistribute mental energy and materials during a crisis is what brings us to the other side damaged, unaffected or strengthened. Our ability to react can be improved through steps taken before, during and after a crisis.
There’s been a lot of talk about building resilience in the face of unforeseen circumstances. It could be asked, just how many of these ‘unforeseen circumstances’ are unforeseen or are many of them states of denial. Scientists have been disclosing for years the dire state of the natural world, yet many people don’t seem to want to know, let alone do anything that might help turn the situation around. Enter antifragility. Kersgaard explains:
Resilience is the ability to withstand stress without degradation. A resilient system, when struck by new circumstances, can function normally and deliver the needed services to its members. Growing food at home or powering your house with solar and battery backup are two examples of resiliency at the building scale. A crisis which disrupts the global supply chain and workforce do not prevent the inhabitant from feeding themselves or generating electricity.
Antifragility is the ability of a system to improve under stress. This allows the system to emerge improved after a crisis. A starfish has antifragility built into its body, as it can regrow a lost arm and the lost arm can also regrow the rest of the organism.
Kersgaard outlines five (5) ways to build antifragility into ourselves and our communities:
#1: De-stress: Mental stress taxes our bodies, psyches, and relationships. Stress makes it harder to react in a balanced way. It is our fight, flight or freeze reaction, designed to save our lives in times of crisis.
#2: Love for Humanity: Love allows us to transcend our differences and distances. During a crisis, we have the opportunity to be united by a common struggle. We see in a new way how the entire Earth is inhabited by our neighbours. We have one biosphere and tightly woven social and economic systems.
#3: Organise: If loving our Earthly neighbours is the recognition that we rise and fall as one, an organization is the recognition that small affinity groups working together are the units that transform the world. Organising allows us to focus on highly specific problems and work efficiently.
#4: Stay Informed: Pre-existing knowledge primes us to respond to a crisis. When we understand how humanity has responded to crises of the past, we gain insight into what responses are most appropriate for the present. Finding and sharing information during the crisis gives us new context, strategies, and foresight.
#5: Create: Creation is the synthesis of all other antifragility strategies. Creation brings us from resilience to antifragility. Its strength carves new channels in our minds, systems, and our world. To create a piece of art or a garden is an act of healing and an act of disturbance. Creating bravely is a celebration of uncertainty. Its result can never be anticipated. On the other hand, the result of not creating is certain — fragility.
Read the full story at this link: Antifragility in the age of crisis