Sunday, 7 April 2019

true grit

Though not to be invoked on those small annoyances that can nonetheless snowball cumulatively and become overwhelming, the Finnish concept of sisu—which does not have a straightforward equivalent in English (see also)—signals an especially tenacious form of bravery and resilience that emerges at one’s most dire moments and boosts courage, energy and resolve from a reserve that one did not realise one had to persevere despite of oneself and past failures.
It’s always a bit tricky and judgmental to say that something in our behavioural quiver is reserved for extraordinary circumstances since sisu gained common-parlance during the 1939 Winter War and invasion by the Soviet Union and its continued cultural resonance surely meant it has been called on during less harrowing times, so try not to assess the threshold of others and yourself too critically. The stoicism of not indulging counter-measures too readily and ordering things in perspective is an internal process that develops naturally and is also a demonstration of the same unimagined strength no matter what crisis one is facing.