Sttare in bubble’ or ‘being in the bubble’ are quite common expressions and refer to well-positioned objects, to people in good psychophysical conditions or to situations that go for the right way. The spirit level, an instrument used to verify the horizontality of a surface, is a glass vial mounted on a wooden or metal structure. The phial, partially visible from the outside, contains a liquid, alcohol or sulfuric ether, with an air bubble that moves towards one or the other side of the instrument according to the variation of the inclination. When the bubble is centered on the graduation engraved on the upper part of the glass vial, the horizontality of the surface on which the instrument is placed is verified.

    We can imagine ourselves as a living bubble level.

    Life is a constant vibration

    In every living organism, the bubble is in continuous vibration and it is an arduous task to keep it more or less in a central position, sensitive as it is to any variation of the internal and external environment of the living organism. We human beings do not have a graduated window that reveals every slightest movement of the bubble outside but we can be sure that it is never motionless, if only because any state of rest within the living organism and the environment in which it lives is only apparent.

    Returning to the bubble after a negative event

    Everything that lives – a human being, an animal, a plant – is delicate and hypersensitive to the slightest variation of the internal and external environment. We are aware of only a small part of the continuous variationsthe more macroscopic ones, those that cause conspicuous displacements of the bubble. “Staying on the bubble” is not easy and “getting back on the bubble” is even more difficult after one of the many unpleasant episodes of daily life not to mention the most painful and traumatic events.

    If the bubble doesn’t vibrate it means that life has abandoned us. As long as we are alive we fight all the timewith mixed success, to maintain a minimum of balance and avoid losing control of our body and mind.

    Over two centuries ago, the physician and pathologist Marie François Xavier Bichat stated: “Life is the set of functions that resist death”. From birth we demonstrate, in every respect, that we are gods resistant. Resistant against death. The species, to remain in the metaphor of the spirit level, signals to us what is functional or dysfunctional with respect to the imperative of living by contrasting both physical death and the risk of giving up the struggle to live despite the traumatic events we encounter while living.

    Endurance, resilience and fortitude

    Today we talk about resilienceI prefer the expression fortitudebut perhaps, in the light of what I have just written, the best term is the one suggested by Bichat: resistence.

    A few years ago I read a book by economists Jacques Attali (Survive the crisis. Seven life lessons Fazi Publisher, Rome, 2010) in which I have rediscovered the how and why of a life of resistance. Here are the seven principles that, according to the author, should be applied in order.

    The 7 principles of resistance

    Self respect

    To live and not just survive. Respect each other and therefore seek your own reason for livingimpose a desire for excellence in relation to one’s body, one’s conservation, one’s appearance, the realization of one’s aspirations.


    Project to the long term. Forming a vision of oneself, for oneself, twenty years from now, to be incessantly reinvented; knowing how to choose to make an immediate sacrifice if it can prove beneficial in the long run.


    Put yourself in the place of others, adversaries or potential allies. Understand their cultures, their ways of thinking, their motivations; to be kind to others, to welcome them in order to make lasting alliances with them; be in particular able to admit that an opponent may be right without feeling shame or anger because of this.


    One time identify threatsdifferent for each type of crisis, it is necessary prepare to resist mentallymorally, physically, materially, financially if one of them were to materialize.


    If the attacks persist and become structural, if the crisis takes root or becomes part of an irreversible trend, it is necessary learn to turn them into opportunities. This requires positive thinking, the rejection of resignationcourage and practical creativity.


    If the attacks continue, increasingly destabilizing, and no positive use of them is possible, we must prepare to change radicallyto imitate the best of those who can resist, a remodel self-representation to be able to pass into the field of winners without losing self-respect.

    Revolutionary thinking

    It is necessary to be ready, in an extreme situation, in a situation of self-defense, to dare all out, to force oneself, to act against the world by violating the rules of the game, while persisting in self-respect.

    What is GeA Association, Parents Again

    Fulvio Scaparropsychotherapist and writer, is the founder of theGeA Associationfor 30 years committed to supporting couples in crisis through family mediation.

    «In 1987, when we founded the GeA Parents Association, we began to work on a project full of utopia: deal with conflicts, especially family conflicts, not only as destructive events but also as opportunities for growth and transformation of relationships. Help parents in separation to regain trust, hope, understanding and mutual recognition. Spread a mediation culture from which results of great utility can derive, not only for individuals but for the entire community in terms of reconciliation of social relations and trust in personal and community resources.

    Over the years we have found many traveling companions endowed with courage, optimism, profound awareness that, in school as in the family, in companies as in institutions, there is an increasing need for mediators who help the parties to negotiate, to look further than a possible immediate victory, to seek alternative solutions to the head-on collision.

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    Above all, a long and fruitful journey of practice and reflection has been made not only on how, when, in which areas to mediate, but also and above all why it is worthwhile to mediate».

    Read all of Fulvio Scaparro’s articles on iO Donna here.