Daily Archives: June 18, 2010

More About the Virtues of Adversity

The following is from the personal development website I referenced yesterday and is written by Chuck Gallozzi.  This is a continuation of the Adversity article.  In case you didn’t read yesterday’s post, check it for the beginning of this.

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2. Realize that misfortune tells what fortune is. We need winter to appreciate spring, rain to appreciate the sunshine, and adversity to be thankful for the calm after the storm.

3. Recognize misfortune for what it is: an opportunity to lift yourself to a higher level. Sailors caught in a storm should pray not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear. Why should they accept the storm? Because a smooth sea never made a skillful mariner.

When an eagle believes her eaglets are large enough to learn how to fly, she begins to take apart the nest and push the eaglets out. After this rude awakening, the eaglets discover they have wings! They can fly! The universe is constantly nudging us, pushing us off one cliff after another, in the hope that one day we, too, will discover our wings and soar to new heights.

4. Lessen your suffering by refusing to linger on past difficulties or expecting future ones.
Problems of the present are difficult enough to deal with. Don’t add to your misery by regretting the past or worrying about what might happen in the future. Mark Twain understood that it was pointless to fret about the future when he said, I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.

5. Realize it could be worse. Count your blessings. Keep in mind the Persian proverb: I cried because I had no shoes until I saw someone with no feet.

Regardless of how horrible your circumstances, you are probably not paralyzed and unable to speak. However, Mr. Washington Roebling was. You see, more than 100 years ago, Washington’s father, John, had a dream to build The Brooklyn Bridge. Experts at the time believed it to be impossible, but John finally persuaded the city to support his project. He and his son, Washington, were the lead engineers and the only ones who knew how to build such a bridge. After just a few months into the project, there was an accident that took the life of John and left his son with permanent brain damage. Although unable to speak, write, or walk, Washington’s mind was alert and he could move one finger. Determined to realize his father’s dream, he developed a code, which made it possible to communicate with his wife by tapping on her arm with his finger. Washington tapped on his wife’s arm for thirteen years, relaying all the instructions for the engineers. Today, the bridge stands as a testimony of how we can overcome any obstacle, if only we choose to do so.