Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Reader comment on Eranda Jayawickreme's passage ...

Effects of Adversity

On Jul 17, 2015 david doane wrote:

There are a lot of comments in this piece that I had difficulty with.  For example, I believe all events are uncontrollable -- at best I have some influence on events.  I believe our control on the world is very limited.  We don't know if we are going to a "better place" after this life -- you never know.  I don't even know if there is a better place.  We don't know everything about adversity or anything else.  You never know how long it takes to recover from trauma.  Seeking out tragedy makes no more sense than seeking out anything.  Protecting people from severe suffering is not a must.  Now for the questions to respond to.  We don't be 'good' because of the presence of or lack of adversity.  I'll define 'good' for now as being true to myself.  Adversity underlines that being good is the way to be, it is its own reward, it's not done because I'm in painless times or painful times.  I haven't always lived up to that and don't know that I will in severe adversity but I do believe it.  Adversity always helps me grow, because it pushes me beyond my present boundaries and into being different in responding to the adversity.  Leaving my best friend who was also my business partner was a time of great adversity for me -- sad about our split and my leaving him, scared about what would be next, doubting myself, and I moved on.  That's a very short version of that story but I grew in dealing with the situation and finding more of my own self and my own way.  What helps me avoid despair -- having a stubborn determined mother and being much that way myself, wanting to see a situation through to the end (that's why the form of suicide I've decided on is living until I don't), believing that you never know what will happen and wanting to find out, not allowing myself despair (yet), believing that I grow from adversity.  I guess I don't believe in despair -- and maybe I haven't encountered a severe enough adversity yet.

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