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Is there value in adversity?

Most people today flee adversity. They hate being uncomfortable. We hate inconvenience. Many people feel that they are being punished if they have misfortune, as if the universe seeks retribution from them personally.

Now, I am no martyr. I dislike pain. I do not want to suffer. I dread bad news. But, I have come to recognize adversity as a force altogether different. I think there is value in suffering and lessons to be learned from adversity. Over the timeline of my life, adverse events have had the greater impact on the course of my life. Consequence and reaction have been the nexus for change. Pain and sadness have made me reflective and introspective. It has also made me empathetic. As bad as my circumstances have seemed, I can always find someone worse off then myself.

I like metaphors.

Adveristy is like the iron forge. I can be forced into this fire, a place in which I am surrounded and consumed by pain. I think that is the worst imaginable place until I get pulled out of the fire. I think I am saved, when really, adversity is just waiting to hammer away on me. I feel pounded and damaged and ruined. I cannot recognize myself. I am distorted and I feel grotesque only to be plunged into stinging, freezing, sobering water.

I am rinsed clean. Only then to I realize I have become something new, maybe something useful, maybe something beautiful, maybe something desirable. I have been converted and changed through pain and suffering.

I do not welcome pain. I do not seek adveristy. I simply submit to the act of conversion. I have faith that in the end I will be something new, something changed and likely more useful.

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