Adversity: Is It Really a “Gift”?

Regardless of how much money you have, your race, where you live, what religion you follow, you are going through something. Or you already have or you will. As momma always said, ‘Everybody’s got something.’ Robin Roberts, Everybody’s Got Something, regarding adversity

Many would easily agree with Robin Roberts, the Good Morning America newswoman who’s undergone her own lion’s share of hardships and has penned a memoir about them.

Some other notable quotes on this topic:

Plato: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

Richelle E. Goodrich: “No one is without troubles, without personal hardships and genuine challenges. That fact may not be obvious because most people don’t advertise their woes and heartaches. But nobody, not even the purest heart, escapes life without suffering battle scars.”

Terry Goodkind: “If the road is easy, you’re likely going the wrong way.”

In addition, listen to the little parable that opens this video clip from the author of The End of Suffering (2014), Nikhil Joshi, MD:

Like anyone else, psychiatrists are not immune to adversity—Norman E. Rosenthal, for example, who’s given us The Gift of Adversity: The Unexpected Benefits of Life’s Difficulties, Setbacks, and Imperfections (2013).

As stated in the Booklist review, Rosenthal “divides adversity into three broad categories: the adversity that comes from bad luck; the adversity we bring about ourselves; and the adversity that we seek out, whether taking a calculated risk on something or setting off on an adventure.”

Interestingly, it’s helpful to have to face hardship in life, states Rosenthal. Not tons of it, just some. Some is more likely than none to help us develop needed resilience, which in turn serves as a foundation for more optimal mental health.

The various troublesome things Rosenthal has endured himself have even contributed to his professional growth, he notes.

Rosenthal quotes an old Eastern proverb: “The fox has many tricks, but the porcupine has one big trick.”

In conclusion, a couple quotes from other sources:

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. M. Kathleen Casey

The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them. Bernard M. Baruch

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