“Wind extinguishes a candle and energizes fire.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

In this month’s Online Member Gathering, we had a thought-provoking (and very timely) discussion about Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder. In it he describes a spectrum of resilience that objects, ideas, and even individuals fall on.

The three markers on Taleb’s resilience spectrum are fragility, robustness, and, finally, antifragility.

Fragile things (a champagne glass, a candle) are vulnerable to even the slightest force.

Robust things (a rubber tire, a shield in battle) endure change, but with time and enough shock will break.

Antifragile things (good ideas, evolution, and, unfortunately, wildfires) sustain and can even become stronger when challenged.

Large-scale, negative forces like natural disasters, divisive politics, and a global pandemic can seem insurmountable, especially when occurring at once. This makes us, as individuals, feel vulnerable and fragile.

In the current moment, each of us is being pushed to new limits, almost to the point of breakdown. However, these same forces also push us to create robust and even antifragile countermeasures: neighbors coming to one another's aid, renewed interest and involvement in our governing bodies, and novel approaches to old problems. Our ability and willingness to collectively solve problems are the building blocks of an antifragile society.

If enough of us choose to respond to these challenging times through compassionate engagement, we could come out stronger than before.

To our shared strength and antifragility,

Mike Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

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This article is part of our series on the theme of Resilience.

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Our Themes

Distilled from our Manifesto, positive psychology, the science of mindfulness, and ancient philosophic studies we have identified twelve themes core to living both fully and mindfully. We mapped these twelve themes to each of the twelve months in a year. Together with our community we explore one each month.