Does extreme hardship tend to bring out the best in people?

by outbutnotdown 10 Replies latest jw friends

  • outbutnotdown

    I have been going through what can only be described as some extreme hardship lately. Some of my posts lately explain it. My friends are surprised that I am dealing with it as well as I have been because, quite frankly I have never been considered to be a very patient person. They have seen me getting better in the patience department through all this, even though it seems that some of them think I would have snapped by now.

    It has also caused me to appreciate my children more, enjoy all of the times with them even more, whether it is just quietly reading a book with them or raking the leaves or cheering them on at soccer and hockey.

    From my observation on this forum, the same thing seems to be coming true over and over. It seems like the people who have gone through the most are the most loving and the most objective in discussions, where some others are more argumentative and a little more close-minded. This post is not intended to accuse any people, but if you wish to mention those who you feel have been loving and objective, feel free to express yourself.

    Is this "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" just something inherent in human nature or is it because of the fact that these people have made the conscious decision to not let themselves become embittered towards the world despite these times when the option to hate the world seems justified?.

    For those who feel that they have grown spiritually through their hardships feel free to "toot your own horns'.. .... you deserve the respect and a good lesson can be learned by the rest of us at the same time.


  • outbutnotdown

    Ok, this topic is about to go off the "active topics" screen and no one has responded yet and I'm getting really pissed off!!!!

    OOPS, remember what this post is about, stressful and traumatic situations make us/give us the opportunity to become better... in the big picture.



  • Steve Egner
    Steve Egner

    Hey Brad,

    I have been going through what can only be described as some extreme hardship lately. Some of my posts lately explain it.

    First, I have to apologize, for not being familiar with what particular hardships you are enduring.

    I can only offer, by way of encouragement, that many good things are borne from the discomfort of change.

    For those who feel that they have grown spiritually through their hardships feel free to "toot your own horns'

    Although I do feel that I've grown in many ways, I can't say that the growth resulted from passage through hardship. There've been obstacles and challenges though, and these dictated major life changes.

    Overall, I'm happy with those changes.

    Ok, this topic is about to go off the "active topics" screen and no one has responded yet and I'm getting really pissed off!!!!

    If not helpful, I hope that at the very least this response was better than simply, BTTT.

    Good luck to you, Brad.


  • kat2u

    I feel that people who have been thru alot,do learn to appreciate what they have more.And they are often more understanding,people.

    I believe this is because they realize that when going thru tough stuff we can become short tempered , depressed, negative and just not nice to be around.

    Going thru tough times is a catalyst for great personal growth if you allow it to.

  • outbutnotdown


    I could never figure out what BTTT meant and I knew someday I would be informed of it...... it just happened to be, ironically, when I was guilty of it..... Back To The Top, right?

    It wasn't ONLY about that. It was also just a minor way to demonstrate the bigger point I was trying to make.

    Just some other points on the similar topic, religions have been formed based on major hardships. Christianity being the most obvious to me. Jesus was a martyr, (the ultimate hardship), which made him bigger than real life and turned him into a god-like person and eventually God, (from my opinion of how Christianity was formed.)

    Although my original intent was to praise those who have overcome great obstacles, it has happened on a bigger than personal scale for milleniums. Even the JW's have that part of "human nature" built into their teaching, to a certain extent. How many of us didn't believe we were that much more right each time we had someone question us in service or whatever? The greater the objection the more we felt correct.

    But I digress, and get back to my original purpose of this topic, even if it is stalling in the popularity polls.....

    Congrats to all who have taken negative situations and turned them into great attitudes towards life.


  • Corvin

    Well, you're all pretty aware of what I and the family here have been going through lately. I did what I thought was right, stayed committed to my methods goals even when some said "whoa" or "be careful" or "you're doing it all wrong". I know such ones are afraid of running too far or too fast; afraid, as it were, to let go of the rope, not understanding, having never been through such a thing thinking my manner a bit extreme. I allowed myself to suffer for the sake of my children, in order to keep from suffering needlessly anymore, and goddamnit, there's a scar right through my heart but I would bare it again. It sucks, and it took a big friggen chunk out of my soul, and I would only wish it on a JW in good standing (jk), but it really has brought me growth, knowledge, strength and wisdom, not to mention a few gray hairs, a few less hairs, and some deeper lines on my brow. The fear has lessened and it has made me a better father. So, in this world of never-ending challenge and pain I will only ask, "OK, what's next?" Hardship has brought out the best in me so far.


  • Stefanie


    On this forum there has been alot of people that have helped me so much..

    I dont want to leave anyone out, so i will just say thanks to everyone who posts and who are brave enough share their experiences

  • outbutnotdown


    I can relate to your feelings. I can understand why you've done what you did. Despite other people questioning you..... sometimes even myself............. despite being in a similar situation to yours..... I think you have fought a brave fight. I believe that you will reap the rewards that you deserve.

    Just remember that a lot of people who have made a big difference in the world weren't really recognized until after the fact. A lot of other people, quite frankly quit before reaping the reward of seeing the big picture and trusting in it. There was always a lot of criticism towards these people. From my personal experience, all we can do is trust our intuitions about what is the right thing. Sometimes we even have to defy what others perceive as "normal" to accomplish what, years later, people accept as gospel.

    God, (or whoever) bless you Corvin. There have been and always will be people who question your tactics. It's your drive to achieve what is good and pure that will stand above the tactics.


  • bem


    I haven't gotten to the board a lot lately! Work! Sicker than... well really sick! hehe. So I haven't gotten to read a lot!

    But I've had what seems like more than a fair share of hardships! Some hardships! life deals them to me on a regular basis. I created a few along my way! those I'm still trying to live down! I have been guilty of making poor choices! but even those are making me a better person!

    IMO Yes! Hardships Make Us Better, depending on how we handle it, Some turn to substance abuse! others to self abuse < what bems guilty of] But not no more! remember how we were taught, Gold gets purer the more times its heated and melted down then slagged off! Darlin' just look at it that way! we're being 'refined'

    I'm sending positive thoughts your way and hoping for the very best for you!

  • BrendaCloutier

    Patience my arse!

    {{{{ Brad }}}} {{{{ Corvin }}}}

    When you're going though hell, keep moving!

    I don't know how many here are aware of my own tribulations. I'm not quiet about them as I've learned that my experience, strength, and hope, can help others who have been there or are there now, now may be there in the future.

    Shunned by congregation because of the person I married. Alcoholism, domestic violence, shunned by parents and siblings. Now chronic illness - FibroMyalgia - a pain in the arse and everywhere else. Due to the FMS, I've lost home, husband, career, ability to work, sharpness of mind, function of body, and do so many of the things I've enjoyed in my life. (I'm thinking "is that all?" and I'm answering "isn't that enough?")

    I am happy I've had things to enjoy. I also have goals to learn new things like watercolour painting. Silk painting. Wood working.

    Corvin, I know your actions, and motives, have been questioned - by me, for one. This is not always a bad thing as sometimes the right question asked can help to shift the perspective of one's thinking. I don't see it as a bad thing, but as a reminder and a checkpoint. From some, it's a real painas they just don't seem to "get it". I understand this, as well.

    Brad, I'm sorry, I'm just not as aware of your tribulations right now. Tie a knot on the end of the rope and hang on.

    Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger? Well, it at least made me more compassionate. It also has shown me that "whoa, I just went through that; not necessarily with flying colors, but I made it!" And the next thing to come along isn't quite as daunting. It's a bitch, though, when there all seem to gang up on you at once.

    One day at a time, one hour, one step, one breath at a time.



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