Their willingness to confront chaos and bring order to their world is what defines achievers and entrepreneurs. The world is full of them, and you come across them in the course of every day. Achieving could be as simple as being able to get through another day without losing your sanity. After a day like that, you may feel drained, but the mere sense of accomplishment that comes at the end of the day when you realize you got through to plan for the next day with all the challenges it may bring, you feel something is building within you. It is called resilience.
I have witnessed it since I arrived in Puerto Rico for the first time since the hurricane dealt a devastating blow to an already over leveraged and fragile economy. The devastation on the physical infrastructure will take years to fix. The effects on the supply of goods and services is evident in the closed storefronts, the abandoned buildings, and the scarcity of some items. Despite it all, somehow people are still plugging along. Even the graffiti and public art has become a vehicle to transmit encouragement and lift people’s moods. The destruction nine months after the tragic path of the storm is evident, but the people I’ve come across in the last few days are not destroyed.
I came to do my part in getting some lives back to normal here in the physical infrastructure aspect. The same family members I temporarily housed nine or six months ago have been back here confronting chaos since then. They are doing a good job at it, and I see evidence of off-the-charts resilience levels. It is a group effort. It has to happen in community. Otherwise chaos takes over, and there is no other option as they are all in it together.
I consider myself pretty strong, but the people here are teaching me a lesson. It is draining, but I am thankful for every minute of it. I will arrive back home a better version of who I was before.