Posted on

Community Resilience


Next Generation Health … a few thoughts

So I have had the good fortune to travel internationally this year to share the story of trauma and resilience. Above is a picture of me with 4 amazing young girls from a village I visited in Guatamala. Now I speak very little Spanish and they spoke very little English and yet over the period of an hour … we were really getting to know each other. I showed them pictures of my daughters and where we live. They were fascinated by the snow! They then took me to their home and showed me where they live (see below) and I was truly humbled.


Pretty different from me. Yet do you see those smiles above at the top? They are so authentic. While I was humbled by the poverty I watched role out before me. Humbled by things I take for granted, like clean water at my fingertips. I was also humbled by their community.

So often the parents and staff of Hope for Life would share with me their gratitude for me coming to their country and teaching them about Trauma and Resilience (see one of my classes below).


They talked to me about all they had learned and how grateful they were to get this information … “we must know a lot about trauma in the United States” (Have to admit a bit of my cynical side came out during those moments … some days I am not so sure).

Once I let go of my cynicism … What came to me is gratitude that we do have access to this science. We also have more and more of us becoming committed to sharing that knowledge and actually doing something with it to make the situation better for the next generation. Many of us are being vulnerable and using Dr. Brene Brown’s work to walk into new arenas and take risks with this knowledge to help our community. Yet what I also shared with them (with the help of AMAZING interpreters) is what they taught me, and they are two things I know I personally am struggling to build in my own life and in our country: Connected Community and Gratitude.

As I watched the mothers and fathers with ease move between each others homes, share everything they had with us, naturally help with childcare and community needs; I thought of my dear friend Danny Avula at the Richmond City Health District who gave this wonderful Ted Talk at RVA TedEx a while back (see below). Inter-dependence isn’t a dirty word.

I also thought about the day I came up with my tag line for the company “We ALL have a role in Community Resilience”. That is real integration … working together with a little humility and a lot of gratitude. That is a powerful combination and when it comes to ACEs, connection is what we need.

I believe we can learn from each other globally how to either enhance our community connections or re-build our community connections so that we can create next generation health.

And that is my thought for today …