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Building resilience


By: Jackie Boat

What do you do when you can identify problems, but cannot seem to find resolutions? I often find myself obsessing over potential solutions for the myriad problems I am addressed with and become overwhelmed. When working with vulnerable populations, it seems there is always a fire to put out or a struggle to overcome. I have had to work pretty closely with people in difficult situations, and often I find I do not have answers for them. All I can do is help them find resources who may be able to find the solutions I can’t. This is difficult for me because I would truly love to fix everyone’s problems, but the scope of problems to be solved is far beyond my ability alone. Hope and optimism are my greatest tools in addressing these everyday struggles.


In times like these, I find it is useful to focus on what I can do. I believe that providing solar furnaces will make a big difference for many. For those that I cannot help with my area of focus, I have to believe that there are others that can. In searching for resolutions, I am learning about a lot of different types of aid organizations. So along with refining my ability to inform others about solar, I am familiarizing myself with as many other resources as possible. If I am the person people have to come to, then I am going to be as much a wealth of knowledge as possible. This is the hope that keeps me running. I can help people be more energy efficient and empowered in other ways, even if I am not seeing to it personally.

Determined concentration on a difficult problem can sometimes prove effective, however obsessing over the solution is only going to add to the problem. I am learning to balance my determination to save the world with the realistic awareness of my abilities in order to avoid adding to the problem. If I can show others that I have hope for them, then that is likely to instill it within themselves. That is progress in itself.