Vulnerability is best exemplified by Suleika Jaouad, a 23 years-old beautiful and talented American girl from New York. She is a musician, playing the double bass, who graduated from Princeton University, and she has cancer. She has chosen to be on the arena, to be vulnerablewith courage, and she posts on the New York Times and on the Huffington Post. I read just a few posts by her, but she has already taught me the valor of vulnerability, the importance of not escaping form the world and face one’s destiny with honesty and truth. In one of her articles she writes about how to behave towards someone with cancer.

Courage is not the lack of fear or despair, but the strength to conquer them. Suleika, who is well-known by the American readers, is not alone: there are hundreds of other people like her, ready to open the sufferings and the hope to those people willing to listen to their narratives: suffering is emphatic, and contributes to render us better. We feel humble in front of such a greatness in living a whole life, being in that situation.

Indifference. Credits Vincenzo Senatore

There are other kinds of vulnerability, among which we include the social vulnerability, often joined to the concept of social resilience, as a consequence of hazards and disasters, and as a pre-existing condition that affects a society’s ability to prepare for and recover from a disruptive event. The event can be either social or physical, such as a flood or an earthquake. War is a typical disruptive event, where one of the parties try to destroy the other’s assets and lives.

As in the Suleika case, people and societies have a resilience strength to overcome the hazard, and the recovery can be quick or slow, total or partial, depending on the resilience strength and the extent of damages.

Risk management and IT also take vulnerability in consideration, but we in Bello2Buono are more interested in behavioral economics, in the potential we all have to perform phronesis, the Aristotelean virtue of doing the good, because we have the knowledge of it, having seen it in situations and relationships such as the environment around Suleika, or the Ushahidi community.

Now it is perhaps time to start thinking how we can develop our own community linked by our blog and try accomplishing some little good we are sure can be helpful for somebody.

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One Response to Vulnerability

  1. ganesha84 7 giugno 2012 at 21:28

    There are some people who just cannot stand vulnerability, who cannot afford to show themselves as they are, together with their fragile side, their fears and doubts, because if they did, their Ego would be destroyed. This is the main difference between a strong and a weak person; you are strong when you are not afraid of showing your weak side, in a paradoxical way.


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