Humans are not fragile teacups. If you drop us, we might break, but we can heal, and become even smarter, wiser, and more loving because of the awareness and empathy that we gain from suffering.
A teacup, on the other hand, does not grow from a challenge. If you drop it, it either breaks or it doesn’t.
And we aren’t simply resilient, either. The tires on my car are resilient, but they don’t grow from gripping the pavement. They don’t become better tires when they rest in my garage at night.
Teacups are fragile – they break when dropped.
Car tires are resilient – they can take a lot of wear and tear for years.
Yes, human beings are fragile and we are resilient, too. But we are also antifragile. We can grow to live according to our own values because sometimes we fail to live according to our own code.
We can also grow to become wounded healers and truly be with others.
A person only learns how to truly walk with people in their suffering when they themselves are doing their best face their own suffering and sorrow.
You can’t walk-the-walk if you haven’t learned from your failures, trials and tribulations.
So long as we can summon our own resources and get the help we deserve, we will heal and grow.
In short: People need challenges to grow.
Antifragility is the idea that certain complex systems, like human beings get stronger rather than break, because of the difficulties that we need to over come.
Or to quote Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote when he coined the term:
“Somethings […] thrive and grow when exposed to […] adventure, risk and uncertainty. Yet, despite the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let’s call it antifragile.”