Thursday, 19 March 2020 13:08
By Todd Shimkus, President of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce | Business
Notes from Chamber of Commerce: Narrative of Hope

Here’s what I’ve learned from a little bit of research.

Everyone can be resilient. EVERYONE can be resilient.

Resilience is defined by the American Psychological Association as: “The process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of threats.”

Resilience is important because we all face adversity, trauma, and tragedy in our lives. 

And right now it seems that we’re all facing adversity in one way or another from the wide range of threats posed to our personal and economic health from COVID-19.

Now most people equate resilience with an individual who perseveres and overcomes a significant threat or tragedy on their own.

But all of the research is clear.

People who develop resilience have at least one stable, committed relationship with a supportive caregiver.

We’re talking about relationships with people you trust. People you can count on. People who love you.

Resilience is NOT about going it alone.  Instead, resilience is about collaboration.

That’s why the Saratoga County Chamber joined forces with Discover Saratoga, the Saratoga Springs DBA, the Saratoga Springs City Center, the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation and the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership when we all saw our local communities and economy under siege from efforts to socially distance all of us from one another to fight the spread of this virus.

We all knew that to overcome this challenge we had to collaborate. 

Resilient people are optimists. They have hope and faith. They often have a noble purpose and a desire to help others. 

They can often tell you a story that describes the moment or moments when their resilience was tested and how they adapted. 

They have a “narrative of hope.”

Downtown Saratoga Springs was at its lowest points they say in the 1960’s. Thankfully, some resilient people banded together and created a Plan of Action and it’s made all the difference.

We’ve survived ice storms, blizzards and hurricanes. We’ve survived recessions and bruising political battles often times pitting neighbor versus neighbor.

When New York City and our nation was attacked on 9/11, it was this community that rose up to host first responders for a weekend respite with their families. We did this again ten years later to show our support for those in our armed services who had fought the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It was this community that invented Leap of Kindness Day!

This latest threat is real. There likely will be days for many among us where the trauma and tragedy is real, personal and hard to comprehend.

But we can all be resilient. We can climb any mountain. We can climb out of any hole too.

We’ll do this together. We’ll do this through collaboration.

We will try our best to remain optimistic. To be hopeful and to have faith in one another and our collective ability to adapt and to overcome this challenge.

The actions we take in these next few weeks as resilient people working together will help us to write the next chapter of our Narrative of Hope.

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