A freshwater hydra, magnified. Wikipedia
Human resiliency is the ability to face reality:
to deal with and grow through life’s challenges.
to deal with and grow through life’s challenges.
How resilient are you?
You may never know until you deal with hydras.
Hydra is a genus of freshwater animals. They are a few millimeters long and are found in unpolluted bodies of water in the temperate and tropical regions.
“Hydra human" is a negative albeit helpful term that I like to use at times. It is inspired by these water-borne creatures (pictured above). Both types of hydras prey on other creatures and literally drain the life out of them. They take and don’t give. They are like hydrainers.
The most conspicuous types of the human variety resemble the nine-headed monster in Greek mythology, also called a hydra (pictured below). They are like hydragons that seek to not just drain but to destroy.
Hydra humans can range in their size, visibility, and negative impact. They fall along a micro-macro continuum. The more benign types can simply be "annoyances". But the more malicious are parasitic pathogens and pathogenic parasites--and everything in between.
Judeo-Christian Scripture, along with psychiatric diagnostic manuals, historical accounts of international and internecine conflicts, and humanitarian news reports talk about such people. As an example have a look at the New Testament references on an entry in this weblog from 6 November 2008--go to the index on the right/below and click on "tares" of just click here: “Tares.”
High-Level Help for Hydras
How to deal with hydra humans? This is what helps us. Seek out and experience beauty everyday, especially the beauty of God (Psalm 27:4) and the natural world of God's creation (Psalm 8). Set your mind on the things above (Col. 3:2). Dwell on things that are good and honorable (Phil. 4:8). Do things that are refueling, life-giving, and give to others. As Christ says in Luke 6: 27-30, The Message: "Let your enemies [hydras!] bring out the best in you and not the worst...Live generously!"
Remember: hydras, alone or in multitude, can try to drain and/or destroy even the most resilient humans. So don't be naive as to their presence and purpose (Mt 10:1; Mark 14:27; 2 Tim 3:1). In evil be innocent but in your thinking be mature (Mt. 10:16; Rms 16:19; I Cor. 14:20).
Hercules and Iolas fighting the nine-headed hydra.
Notes, Quotes, and More
1. Conference. Here is another entry from Dr. Vance and Dr. Bethyl Shepperson’s weblog “The Encouragers” (22 November 2009). It is a notation from a presentation by Scott Shaum on resiliency at the Mental Health and Missions Conference (19-22 November 2009).
"Our next breath is utterly dependent on God who sustains...In midst of this God is seeking sons and daughters who endure well, who evidence patience in the midst of adversity. We are fragile but filled with the glory of God. Our weakness is context where His power can be revealed....Paul talks about thorn in flesh, 2 Cor 12. Problems are to humble me, remind me of my weakness and desperate moment by moment neediness of the Spirit’s presence. Can I, like Paul, boast of weakness here as a pre-requisite for power?...Learn patient endurance in one’s own adversities. If you have a deficit of that, each new day brings a new opportunity."
2. Books. Buckle your seat belts and have a close look at the book Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (2006) by Paul Babiak and Robert Hare (see especially the Preface and chapters 3, 6, 10, 11). As a historical warm-up read The Prince by Machiavelli, especially chapter 15 (it consists of two paragraphs with the main points in the last part of each paragraph). In addition and for a sobering appraisal of "systemic or sociopolitical hydras"--especially totalitarian states--see the related weblog entries on this site: "Orwell in October" (from 2008) on the books Animal Farm and 1984.
3. Tools. Have a look at the main article and review the Internet resources on good governance/ethics on the Reality Dose web site. See especially the 10 principles for dealing with dysfunction (a type of tool to guide you) towards the end of the article.
4. Video. Watch a movie like Schindler's List, The Killing Fields, Hotel Rwanda, Osama, etc. In addition find accurate, current reports on how people are countering the more macro "hydrains and hydragons" facing humanity. For example visit the United Nations and other similar web sites. See also the Media that Matters section on the Member Caravan website.
5. Music. Louis Armstrong. What a Wonderful World. Ah, the best!
Stay the course.
May you live wisely and generously.
Reflection and Discussion
1. List an experience you have had with a hydrainer and with a hydragon.
2. How does one deal with the reality of humans who do evil and who are evil yet without succumbing to pessimism or even paranoia (or being seriously woundeed!)?
3. What qualities about hydro humans (as in the previous weblog entry) probably make them stronger than hydra humans?
4. Which of the written matierials and videos menioned above in the "Notes and Quotes" section (points 2-4) are you willing to pursue--when and how?
5. Think of a particular song (or songs) that you just love, which helps you remember the wonderful and beautiful things in this life.