Resilience is the art of bouncing back from the setbacks, tragedies, and disappointments that come our way in the natural course of things. Some people are very good at handling these challenges while others are not. According to Beth Miller, a Jungian therapist and researcher with a private practice specializing in resilience, there are 12 qualities evident in those who thrive in the face of upsets. Among them are connecting with others, developing special gifts, transforming resentments and practicing forgiveness, having a good sense of humor, finding meaning in crises, and enduring suffering.

In American culture, resilience is respected, and there are plenty of stories about those who have overcome great odds to achieve great things. Miller shares accounts of individuals who have been able "to produce pearls from injured lives." She also shares many lively quotations such as the following one from Rebecca Wells' novel The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood: "She reached in and very gently lifted out a tiny glass vessel about the size of a fox-glove blossom. The vial was very old, made of sterling silver over gloss, with one jade stone in the center of its little screw-on lid. It's called a lachrymatory. A tiny jar of tear drops. In olden days it was one of the greatest gifts you could give someone. It meant that you loved them, that you shared a grief that brought your together."