When you think of New Orleans people don’t call us resilient.
New Orleanians have been considered resilient for centuries but it’s not resilience that makes us tick.
Perhaps at the beginning, in 1718, and the first couple hundred years that would have been the correct word. After all, survival back then in the sub tropic city of New Orleans demanded a resilient spirit but back then there wasn’t much choice.
In today’s world, amongst hurricanes and floods and a pandemic that hit our city’s economy harder than 75% of the rest of the country, resilience is a must but it’s no longer what makes us who we are.
We have a choice in the modern world. In yesteryear, a person couldn’t just leave their family, their home or their business easily. They couldn’t move to just anywhere and start over. Today, more people than ever could do just that. There are many New Orleanians that have done just that. Some of them were transplants that couldn’t hack New Orleans at its worst but some were those “resilient” people of years gone by who said no more! Resiliency is the act of recovering and adapting in the face of trauma, stress and negative life altering events. It doesn’t define who they are. It defines how they got through.
The ones who have stayed, the ones who still call New Orleans home and the ones who await the return of our greatest city on earth, are not simply resilient! We are resourceful, inventive, courageous, adventurous and adaptable. We have a spirit that is unmatched.
This is the kind of people there should be more of. Spirited people.
Our people evolved from Native/African/French/Spanish/Irish/ German/Italian/American to simply New Orleanians. They took all those cultures and rolled them up to make a “gumbo”, if you will. They built the New Orleanian from a homemade recipe with ingredients from each culture. The final product was a seemingly unbreakable spirit!
We are human, not immortal. That spirit can be broken but we are thick skinned. It takes a lot of bruising to break us.
We love deeply, we laugh loudly and we have unbridled passions. Having an “unbreakable spirit” means holding on to these passions, standing up for what is right, and not letting anyone else persuade us to do otherwise.
We are far more than resilient. It is all about spirit and it is plain to see just by looking at our calendar.
New Orleanians do something that no one else in the USA does. They plan for their next fun before the current fun ends. There is always something to look forward to. There is always something to bring our passions and our happiness to the forefront.
Don’t call us resilient, though we are durable. Don’t call us unbreakable, we are not immortal. Call us optimistic. Call is tenacious. Call us spirited!
So, come celebrate life with us in New Orleans. We can teach you how to even celebrate death. More than anything we can teach you how to have an optimistic spirit and enjoy life just a little bit more. You just have to be willing.