The Face of Resilience At Marywood University

Written by Tony Mussari, Sr.
Edited by Kitch Loftus-Mussari
Photographs by Kitch Loftus-Mussari and
Tony Mussari, Sr.
Copyright Mussari-Loftus Associates, LTD 2015
All Rights Reserved

Great hearts can only be made by great troubles. The spade of trouble digs the reservoir of comfort deeper, and makes more room for consolation. Charles H. Spurgeon


Recently I Googled the word resilience. In 0.27 seconds I had access to 40,200,000 hits.

These are a few of the definitions I found for resilience:

The capacity to recovery quickly from difficulties;

The ability to become strong, healthy or successful after something bad happens (merriam;

Resilience is that ineffable quality that allows some people to beIMG_9088_sm knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes (;

When you have resilience, you harness inner strength that helps you rebound from a setback or a challenge, such as job loss, an illness, a disaster or the death of a loved one. If you lack resilience, you might dwell on problems, feel victimized, become overwhelmed or turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse(;.

Resilience won’t make your problems go away-but resilience can give you the ability to see past them, find enjoyment in life and better handle stress. If you aren’t as resilient as you’d like to be, you can develop skills to become more resilient (;

In short, people who have resilience make the most of their situation. They learn how to navigate the bumps in the road of life. They not only survive. They thrive.


On a cold, February afternoon, Kitch and I had a chance encounter with a Marywood student who left an indelible mark on our souls.

After five weeks of preparation for a keynote address to be delivered IMG_9085_sat Marywood’s first Speed Networking event, the moment was literally minutes away when we met Abo Zahid who, in our opinion, is a classic face of resilience.

Abo Zahid greeted us with a beautiful smile and a kind word. His demeanor set the tone for the evening. As we walked to the Nazareth Student Center, I was taken by his congeniality and determination. He was polite, respectful and a joy to be with.

We talked several times during the evening. He introduced us to his friends, and we introduced him to Matthew Parkyn the student who invited us to speak at the event.

Before he left the venue to visit a friend in the hospital, he made a special effort to tell us he would be in touch.

He kept his promise.

His second note was so powerful, I asked for his permission to include his story in this article.

I slept yesterday in Moses hospital because my friend was desperate. She cried all night… My neck is hurting me, because I slept in the chair until 5 in the morning.

You know my friend, there was a time I wasn’t able to move my head, but I said to myself I have to walk or die so I walked because IIMG_9111_sm wanted to control my life.

I don’t want my family taking care of me. I can’t accept this idea. I want to take care of them.

I feel I’m like water. If you see water it is easy, simple and weak, but in reality nothing can stop water even mountains can’t stop water or a flood.

You know, I feel nothing can stop me. I have three dreams first walking and driving and you saw me driving yesterday; second studying in US; third I will keep it secret until I accomplish it then I will tell you about it.


I believed that if you think about anything and you believe it in your heart you can do it no matter what, because the human brain has strong and strange power… be patient, work on your dreams, smile and be positive all the time and look at the bright side at any problems.

There are people who look at the dark side don’t be like them.

Finally, if we expect the good things, the good thing will happen. If we expect bad things, bad things will happen.

I don’t believe in luck. "I’m the only one who creates my luck." Wish good luck that means expected good luck. AZ_sm

Finally and most importantly is to love all people no matter what their religion, color, race………..etc…

It is an honor to know and a pleasure to celebrate Abo Zahid. His life and his words give truth to Henry Ford’s famous thought about determination, and they compel us to ask ourselves Mr. Ford’s famous question:

“The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right. Which one are you?”

In deeds not words, Abo Zahid answers this question in an inspirational way every day of his life.

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