Woman staring out


April 4, 2022

Recovering from Hardship

Dr. Pamela King discusses how tapping into our faith and contributing to a flourishing world can help us thrive through difficulty.
“Bring light to others when they despair, and find those who can light your way when you feel lost. Work together to weave a story that is worthy of living—one that is full of convictions and beliefs of how you make sense of those things that matter most.”  Pamela King

Can We Thrive Through Difficulty?

But is it possible for humans to thrive in the face of suffering and trauma, in the face of so much trouble in the world? Our research at the Thrive Center confirms that humans can and do thrive through tremendous difficulties. One of the greatest resources for thriving is our faith and belief systems. Knowing that we are part of something greater than ourselves fuels our commitments and directs our purpose. It takes us outside of ourselves and spurs us into action. In this way, faith and spirituality promote thriving!

Contributing to a Flourishing World

Now more than ever, we need purposeful living. Real thriving occurs when we are contributing to a flourishing world. A person who thrives understands that life isn’t just about me, but about us. We cannot thrive in isolation. We must enable those around us to thrive presently and into the future by using our unique skills and gifts, leaning into our passions, and taking on projects that transform our communities and world for the better. When the events of the world feel frightening and overwhelming, humans need each other as sources of strength. In fact, psychological science tells us that people need to feel known, supported, safe, and loved in order to thrive.

This might mean micro changes in the way we interact with others—whether it’s something as simple as practicing kindness. Commit to doing five small acts of kindness. Kindness allows us to better understand God’s love for us and improves our relationships with others. It makes our communities better places to live.

Finding the Light in Darkness

The message of finding light in darkness feels more relevant than ever. We need beliefs and ways to make meaning of our lives that provide hope and love. We are part of a greater story.

I invite you to pray with passion and compassion for those whose suffering is real. Pray for yourself. Attune to and regulate your emotions. Reach out to others for support if you are struggling. Remind yourself that you are loved and empowered to thrive for God’s purposes.

Pamela Ebstyne King Executive Director, Peter L. Benson Professor of Applied Developmental Science


Continue Exploring


A Practice: The Five A’s for Agility in the Face of Change


Living at the Intersection of Joy, Meaning, and Balance

Waves forming in the ocean


Next Wave Spirituality: Thriving From Within and From Beyond

    You Got It!