RESILIENCE: Smiling at Adversity

The word resilience brings to my mind a beautiful lake side resort that I visited after being drawn in by its picturesque website. Kalanoga resort is located on a small peninsula on the shores of Lake Victoria, in Busaabala, 15 Kms from Kampala. On getting to Kalanoga, I found that besides the spacious dining area that sits on the most elevated part of the land, made of brown timber floors and green canvas ceiling – everything else looked grim.

The waiter who received me, perhaps reading the expression of concern on my face, walked me to a large window and showed me what was going on.

“The lake moved all the way here covering our beach and compound under water,” he said. Pointing further out, he said, “Over there, those apartments had their ground floor totally submerged.”

My gaze followed his pointed figure as it moved from place to place ready for his commentary after locking onto an object.

“That white area there” he said, “is the barrier we are using to keep the water away so that we reclaim the land for our compound.” Smiling at me, he got back to business. “For now, all you can enjoy is a meal with your family in this fine dining.”

One’s capacity to recover quickly from setbacks, adapt well to change and keep going in the face of adversity is summed up in the one word: Resilience.

That this one word has gained currency and overuse in the wake of 2020 – the year that brought death, a threat to our health, loss of employment and a threat to our well-being, is no surprise.

To refresh your mind on the destructive forces of 2020, I recommend watching “Death to 2020”, and “Yearly Departed” – comic renditions on Netflix and Amazon Video cataloguing events that redefined health practices, social interactions, business models, education systems, racial relations and geo-politics.

I urge you to look back at a dark year through the lenses of humor deliberately, for humor is a tool of resilience. When we laugh at events that led to our setbacks, our folly, our failures, then we freely pursue alternative paths to survival and success. For example, when the world shut down March 18, 2020, a new lease of life was created through MoTIV, the destination for creatives.

Smiling at adversity, that is resilience. Drawing strength from that which is working when everything else is seemingly failing, just as the waiter at Kalanoga resort did, that is resilience!

In whatever we do, let us remember we are a product of our choices and decisions, not our circumstances. No matter how you feel, Get Up, Dress Up, Show UP and Never Give Up.

By Monica Kasirye Kavuma

Chief Operations Officer

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