We all encounter adversity in life to a degree, some of us more than others. This may be in our relationships, pursuit of education, or unforeseen obstacles and challenges.
“Adversity is the diamond dust Heaven polishes its jewels with.”Thomas Carlyle
When faced with failure, difficulties, and challenges in life, you come out as a stronger person. Adversity is what provides for that strength. If you had it easy all your life, you wouldn’t be the strong individual you are now that can deal with such hardships. As Carlyle saw it, adversity is simply what polishes you into the strong person you are now, akin to the formation of a jewel from the rough. The path to success is marred with pain, difficulties, and failures without a doubt. However, the strength of the human will to overcome adverse conditions results in the greatest of people. The many inspirational rags-to-riches stories in history only attest to this.
“I Love those who can smile in trouble”Leonardo da Vinci
When faced with a challenge, often times there are few options available in dealing with it. One option is to simply give up or run away from whatever the obstacle might be. The other option is to tackle it head on. When you face adversity alongside others, there are few things as reassuring as someone beside you ready to take on a challenge with you.
As Da Vinci says, you want someone who smiles at the absurdity or impossibility of a challenge before you simply because there isn’t much else you can do. Crying and feeling sorry for yourself will likely not help your situation, so take that trouble on with a smile on your face.
Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”US President Teddy Roosevelt
You might be jealous of a friend who has it easy. Whether it’s because they don’t need to try, they have wealth, connections, individuals who’ve got it easy aren’t the ones society and history admires. In today’s popular culture, it’s easy to associate success with an easy effortless life.
However, it is those who live through the most painful adversity that are truly admired. Li Ka-Shing left school at 15 to support his family by working in a factory. He took what he knew from his work there, started a business, and today is a self-made billionaire worth over $30 billion. He never forgot where he came from, and still donates billions to charity. John Rockefeller was born to a poor family of six siblings, and began work for 50 cents a day. He grew up to establish the Standard and Oil Company, and became one of the most wealthy men in recorded human history.
You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”Epicurus
Relationships aren’t always perfect, and none are. Whether it’s a couple who’s been married for 60 years or one that’s just begun dating, your significant other and you will at one point experience some kind of difficulty in your relationship. It’s by having the courage to deal with that adversity or obstacle that further develops your relationship.
You won’t develop courage by pretending nothing is wrong between you and someone you love. By challenging the obstacle between your loved one and you, you can find happiness by overcoming it together. This doesn’t only apply to a husband or wife, girlfriend or boyfriend. You develop courage when you face adversity in your friendships or family relationships, and you meet them head on. By eliminating whatever that problem is, both people in a relationship can be happy again.
“Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.”Aristotle
School isn’t always easy, and at one point or another you will face challenges when pursuing your education. However, your education will be what you resort to when faced with adversity in the future. Education in this case does not necessarily have to be what you learned in school or college, but what you have simply learned over the course of your life.
When faced with an obstacle you have to overcome, you will likely use anything and everything you know from your life’s education and experiences to apply what you have learnt to solve the problem. This might be anything from a math problem, where you resort back to what you’ve been taught, to dealing with a health issue in which someone’s medical education is what you depend on.
Aristotle hints at one of education’s greatest benefits in history in this quote, how it provides us the means to dealing with challenges faced in the future individually and together by humanity.