Resilience in Times of Need

Author: Jytte Holmqvist, University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom
Published: February 4, 2022

Citation: Holmqvist, J. (2021). Resilience in Times of Need. IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities, 8(2).


In these transformative times of interrupted lives, humanity has had to take a step back and subject its frantic, rushed existence to a profound analytical glance. The COVID pandemic has caused millions to suffer and the elderly are more vulnerable than ever; moreover, many families are left to mourn alone, not always able to gather around their departed loved ones at the time of grief. This has led many to believe that humanity has lost control of its environment and its destiny. Yet, if recent predictions by sociologists come true, the current, seemingly never-ending pandemic might have some positive results. The anguish it causes may be, in fact, teaching us to appreciate the value of the natural world that we are depleting, to understand “the other”, and to recognise the planet-saving significance of the phrase “less is more”. And while the world’s populations slowly realise that their social environment has changed permanently, the pandemic’s beneficial upshot might be that people will be mindful of things beyond their immediate concerns and will begin to see the “bigger picture”. In view of the speculative disarray inherent to our present condition, this paper proposes existentialism as a system of thought with the intrinsic power to guide individual and social awareness; it thus analyses our present in an interpretive and pragmatic light while it draws on the existentialist theories of Søren Kierkegaard and Simone de Beauvoir. Both philosophers are querying and inquisitive and both timelessly relevant, sensible and direct about what they see is at the core of human existence.


COVID-19, existentialism, interrupted realities, Simone de Beauvoir, Søren Kierkegaard