In Praise of the Flooded
The elements have once again proved themselves more powerful than the massed forces of Government planning departments and the residents of many towns and villages in various regions have been beset by sudden winter flooding. The provisions put in place after the last such occurrence have proved to be insufficient to save countless homes from rising water levels. The unpleasant realities of these events have, once again, been brought to national attention – the homes are not flooded simply with fresh water but also raw sewage, Electrical supplies for many are still out.
And yet, whenever I hear radio interviews with those effected I am struck by the stoicism and grace under fire of even the most unfortunate victim. Just now I listened to a woman in Carlisle describing how she and her family have lost many of their possessions, their home is nearly wrecked and Christmas is written-off. Yet there was no self-pity or desperation in her voice. In fact she sounded quite cheerful and even joked that she knew that Christmas is cancelled when she watched her newly-iced Christmas cake float out of the kitchen cupboard and through the window.
When listening to such people in difficult times I'm often reminded of the lessons from the Stoic philosophers. Surely, they would have kind words of praise for the people effected by these floods. It seems to me that they have very instinctively understood their inability to control nature and therefore able to be free from anguish when victim to it. Similarly, they can influence their response to it and have thus shown themselves to be resolute, resourceful and hard-working to minimise its toll.
It's quite possible that they are themselves surprised by their resilience. Who of us really knows how much we can withstand until we have been truly tested?
© Tim Grimwade 2015
Tim Grimwade is a London-based Cognitive Hypnotherapist with practices located in Mayfair, Bishopsgate and Clapham and also available for consultations via Skype. Tim uses Cognitive Hypnotherapy to help his clients overcome their symptoms of anxiety and learn to develop greater assertiveness and behavioural freedom. Find out more here.