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The light at the end of the tunnel - by M.F.

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'N' level student-inmate from institution TM1

2nd Prize

  The saying “Long is the way and hard, that out of hell leads to light,” from John Milton’s Paradise Lost aptly illustrates the journey towards resilience. 


To begin with, resilience is one’s quality to remain strong after being knocked down by a situation in life. They recover easily from adversities and stand stronger than before rather than giving room for failures to engulf and drain them. Moreover, resilient individuals remain optimistic and consider failure as a feedback and possible outcome for endeavor. For instance, one of the most resilient people in history is Thomas Edison. He once said of his scientific experiments, “I have not failed. I have just found 10 000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison took his failures in stride and reframed them to pave his way towards success. Therefore, remaining optimistic and embracing your failures will certainly boost your resilience level.


Furthermore, showing resilience as a nation is also of the utmost importance to ensure our continued survival, security and success. An apt example is during the Covid-19 pandemic. Singapore’s ability to prevail over this formidable threat that has brought larger nations almost to their knees depends on its citizens' collective will to move out of their comfort zones and learn to embrace the new normal. They will have to adapt to living under the unprecedented measures set by the government to combat this highly elusive virus. Hence, developing resilience as a nation will enable us to bounce back from any crises. 


Last but not least, I believe the plight of African Americans is worth mentioning for their mental resilience. They have managed to move from being slaves to being equal under the law. The long, arduous journey they have set to be equal. A journey we know is not over, demands high self-esteem, perseverance and positive belief. These qualities have helped them to remain resilient despite the mounting odds stacked against them and only the most resilient individuals will triumph. The same can be said of women’s rights and gender equality, to name a few. These have been hard fought battles waged on uncertain, shifting terrains. No one but the most mentally resilient will be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.


In conclusion, studies have shown that the most resilient individuals have some characteristics in common. These attributes have given them the hope to recover from misfortunes. They are: optimism, self-esteem, embracing change and regard failures as nothing but feedback in the accomplishment of any tasks.


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