When we think of adversity we mostly think of hardships, misfortunes and some danger thrown in for good measure. Adversity can actually mean so much more to so many that the initial definitions pale in comparison to those who have triumphed, not simply survived but excelled beyond the shackles that adversity binds and ties to our souls.
Survival is what many of us do day to day, staying ahead of the tax man or having enough money to pay for the meager sustenance we call food. Survival is perhaps part of adversity but in order to understand the true nature of living with adversity we must understand the word and the conditions that promote it.
Abraham Lincoln stated: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character give him power”
Power in this sense has provided the ultimate test and adverse examination of many, with most failing abjectly. So many strive for it and so many give all they have in order to obtain it only to be dashed and crippled by its overpowering lust and enduring finality, giving nothing in return but the broken ambiance of what used to be man.
For those who seek power the statement “absolute power corrupts absolutely” gives pause I hope to those who might be contemplating this level of adventure. We need leaders who lead through service not those who strive for power and force.
Adversity is almost alive in its ability to design and target its victims, seeking out specific flaws, pouncing like a hungry tiger to eat its fill upon the wastes of those who fail. For others the opportunity is there to excel and grow well beyond the shell that is that man, into a glowing spirit of accomplishment, triumphant from the battles of life and victorious to be standing tall.
“The sweet taste of adversity is but a poison to those who refuse to savor the subtleties of its abundant remuneration? Me…
Whether great or small, the level of adversity cannot be compared; it can only be seen through the eyes of those that battle, individually on their own field of honor. To their left is another who fights but not against the same demons and to the right yet another who contends with fiends unseen to all but him. We are mostly alone in our bouts of conscience and our struggles to overcome and it is this singular fight that creates the greatest prize. For as we overcome we alone can say “I am victorious, I am the winner”.
Religiously Adversity adds another dimension to our plight and gives hope through a belief that the end will come and our suffering will end and glory will be ours if we but endure and overcome. The promises instill in those who believe a magnificent existence, a celebrated reality beyond this test we call life and the added feelings of hope that we are not alone, knowing that there is another who is watching, loving and concerned, assisting only when desperately needed so that when we are at our weakest, at our lowest that hand will be there to guide us, steady us and carry us if need be with the assurance that our frailties will be forgiven and our weaknesses will become our strength, never forgetting that we alone must decide to accept that hand of help.
Adversity is the preeminent force for all that we are. Religiously or not adversity comes to us all, universally descending and infecting the very fibers of our being, forcing all of us to either succumb or excel.
My adversities are not yours, nor yours anyone else’s, they are yours and yours alone. How we react and act upon those challenges are also individually mandated by our choices. We can receive council from others, get a hand from time to time but in the end it is always an individual effort and only that individual will be deemed successful or not based on their emotional reconciliation of all that they are.
Edger Allan Poe, a man who new adversity stated “Never to suffer would never to have been blessed”
If we view our challenges as negative we will only receive negative results but when we strive to overcome those adversarial mêlées with a positive outlook the end results will be victory and beauty, an eye singled to the glory that is all around us.
Our lives are filled with success and wonder, our existence a phenomenon of extremes that are designed to help us develop, improve and expand our limited and finite mentality into minds of eternal splendor and everlasting progression.
Please remember “If for a while the harder you try, the harder it gets, take heart. So it has been with the best people who have ever lived.” Jeffry Holland