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THE ODDS AND LESSONS OF LIVING TWO MAJOR WARS IN A LIFETIME

The odds and lessons of living two major wars in a lifetime

(Photo Credit: Muriel Matta)

Having lived through 17 years of a raging war, those of us who survived it were not only left with bad memories and scars.
We all learnt different lessons, based on the various situations we faced back then.

Reflecting on my personal experience, I acquired lifetime habits, a mindset and resilience that form what I would call my ‘survival kit’.

Here is what we can learn from wars, whether we are defending ourselves against a weapon or an infectious disease.

  1. Wars sometimes tend to get worst, before we see better days ahead - expecting this will enable us to be mentally prepared.

  2. Wars often have a common denominator that determines how long we will go through it: it’s people.

  3. We appreciate what we usually take for granted - water, electricity, food and shelter. 

  4. We realize the power of self-reflection and the enormous vulnerability of our overall health.       
                 
  5. We develop empathy. While this was sometimes viewed as a good-hearted or naive approach, prior to COVID-19, this is now an important asset to navigate personal and business continuity. 

  6. We learn to be flexible, to bounce back quickly and to be constantly creative, because that is the new norm from now on: uncertainty that needs flexibility.

  7. We decide to break more limits, wherever fear had stopped us before, and we engage in activities or projects we previously were reluctant to think about.

  8. We grow stronger and more resilient, after surviving adversity and going through an unthinkable nightmare.

  9. We know that the sun will shine afterwards. It will be a different day, very different situations. Some people will still be here, and others would be gone ...
    Our hearts may be broken, our lifestyles may change, but we will keep a smile on our faces and the determination to move on, because we are survivors and we will rebuild our lives again.
    Differently, however we will have the utter survival instinct to do so.

© Muriel Matta 2020

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Muriel Matta (BSc, MSc, MPhil, Cert CTT Practitioner) is an HR Advisor, Coach, Trainer and Facilitator. 
She is a multilingual Human Resources Management expert, with 28 years of cross-cultural experience in MENA, Europe and CIS. 
In line with her Vision, she launched Maravilhosa in 2014 to help organizations build high-performing teams. 
For more information:
http://www.maravilhosa.net/en/about/profile 
Muriel can be contacted via email: Muriel@maravilhosa.net