Human and Adversity
Adversity is what creates drive in every human being. It is the monster and fear in all of our nightmares, the bad, testing our willingness to be good, pushing us to fight back, to learn its ways, and to appreciate. However dire or subordinate, it is what allows us to perform extraordinary measures, better ourselves morally, and acquire many other character-defining qualities and lessons we need throughout life.
The Roman poet, Horace, expresses adversity perfectly as having “the effect of eliciting talent which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant. ” In this way, it is the adversity or challenge that is key to gaining these talents or qualities, and the prosperous circumstance or lack of any suffering or challenging that acts as a deterrent. All good is taken away from facing adversity in one form or another, for you can only know true prosperity once you have overcome true adversity.
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We see these inspirational adversities every day on the news or in the newspaper; handicapped people participating in the Olympics, cancer survivors, an orphaned child who grows up to make something of them self, blind people with seeing dogs, children with down syndrome and aspergers, the man on the news who lifts the car off the dying woman, and relief systems coming together for natural disasters.
We even experience our own adversities everyday in smaller doses; the loss of family members, failing a class, losing a best friend, going through your first break-up, breaking an arm or a leg, getting laid off from your job, or even being the last one to get picked for baseball teams. Some may ask why these adversities are considered such a good thing? What good could root from suffering, or being miserable, or your whole world becoming seemingly impossible? Because a person can only prosper once they have suffered.
Because there are no ups without downs. Because you can only find light once you have entered the darkness. Because one can only truly hate another when their own love becomes threatened. Because you can only understand gratification and reward with hard work. These things come hand in hand, and you will never find one without the other. Adversities bring upon sadness, and therefore force us to find happiness. They give us despair, so that we can continue to hope. Things are taken away from us, so that we can learn to appreciate.
We become jealous, so that we learn to be confident in ourselves. Adversities are what allow us our natural life lessons. In the moment they seem difficult, ruthless, scary, and no-good, but the good they can do in the scheme of you entire life, if you choose to overcome them, is what defines you. For what good is lying dormant? What has one ever learned from giving up, not trying? Never putting in any kind of dedication? Not standing up for something they disagree with? Letting fear get the best of them?
Not facing their problems and denying that they even exist? Having no purpose in life? In this way, people may think it is not necessary to face tragedy, sadness, or face their problems. But what is life without these experiences, what is a person like without them? Well take for example, a young child. They have not yet experienced hate, fear, sadness, death, hopelessness, stress. Yes, this is where innocence is considered bliss, but it is a fake bliss. One that is not whole and not real. A bliss that we later look back upon as a fantasy- a lie.
For when adversity is truly present in a person’s life, they begin to think with a clarity and deepness they have never thought with before, and these thoughts are what develop the most important and valuable portions of their character. It is unrealistic to think that adversities are unbeneficial or unnecessary, because sooner or later, it is the way that every single one of these small children will find their character and purpose in life. It is adversity that every single human should thank for their character and allowing that character the chance to grow and learn.
In the end, it is your character that makes or breaks you, and not the challenge or hardship. All that matters is if you chose to overcome whatever is beating you down, and that you get back up again. For our purpose in life, is to find the good in adversity. Despite the achievements we make in the face of adversity, it is clear that ease does not challenge us and that such adversity is required for self-discovery. Adversity determines one’s potenal capabilities, strengthens personal values, and gives us a feeling of self-worth.