Is Adversity A Gift?

That’s “D” in the foreground of the picture.  He’s a character on the TV show, “Chance”.

The show is ridiculous except for when it’s not.  In one episode, “D”, tells a young woman, a teenager, that she should thank her bullies.

He explains the bullies are doing her a great favor because they force her to toughen up and defend herself.  She’s got to find her strength, basically.  She’s got to go deep into her own soul.

Friends, on the other hand, will generally only tell you what you want to hear.

What do you think of D’s assertion? Is it true?

51 thoughts on “Is Adversity A Gift?”

  1. It’s never pleasant when you’re going through it. But afterwards…. yeah, you’re either stronger or weaker. I can’t imagine a special forces soldier ((any branch of the armed forces)) whining about something. I may…. but not them.

  2. I don’t think an easy life does much for the evolution of your soul, character, etc. Everyone needs challenges to progress. Challenges that are difficult enough to keep you pushing into the unknown keep life interesting and meaningful. Children imagine a trouble/challenge free life to be preferable…hopefully they grow out of it. So says the Cap sun/merc/venus/mars lol

  3. I was bullied a little bit in school, nothing major, but I was super shy and senstive as a kid and I did not know how to stand up for myself so it was a difficult time.

    I do wish now that I had knocked the shit out of the people who bullied me but back then my strategy was to put on a poker face (i am an 8th houser). I would simply act like i didnt notice them and look ahead. I didnt want them to see they hurt me. Looking back I dont know how good my poker face was because they kept doing it.

    My best friends in school were always scorpios and they were so strong…they stood beside me when I was being taunted and would do the same thing…they would just stand there with me like a safe gaurd telling me not to listen. We would both just take their shots without a wince.

    Now a days I would have knocked their asses out. Scorpio friends would probably not have liked it, but it would have been a great relief. I have aries.

  4. I want to get into this show because of Ethan Suplee (actor playing D) who is unforgettable in American History X.
    I’m with you, la_sirena, with my Neptune rising. I’m nonreligious but love this quote from Matthew 10:16, “Behold I send you forth as a sheep in the midst of wolves… be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

  5. I was really little. So, I was bullied until I was a junior in high school. It was devastating. If it wasn’t bad enough my parents were absent and I was raising their kids, I had to walk in fear.

    I don’t think the human body is supposed to be in fight or flight mode that often. (burns out the adrenals, and you end up with a PTS until you can release it) I don’t think a little kid should be so scared they are biting their nails till they bleed.

    When I’d had enough I did hit back….but it was ridiculous when I look back on it. All this Scorpio and scared to death. But, I had a Virgo best friend and she would knock the cat shit out of anyone that did it if she knew it. Throw a punch at a Virgo or try to bully one and they will knock you out, physically and verbally 🙂 I know, I have two sisters that are Virgos. They are made of steel. No one ever dared to look at them stupid. They just knew better somehow.

    It worries me today because suicide is on the rise and has tripled in 10-14 year old kids. Today kids are getting bullied inside their home via Social Media so it doesn’t stop when mom picks them up and the school systems hands are tied to a degree. They can only do so much.

    When I was in school you got your ass kicked…a swat. Teachers would do it. Today there would be 500 people carrying pitch forks if you discipline their kid.

    For me, my sisters could punch my bullies, my bestie could shove them down and threaten them, but until I drew back a fist and punched one square in her face…it just didn’t stop. After that I was rarely picked on again. It just stopped. I imagine word gets around. Just like that, it was over.

    I have no problem confronting a bully today. It takes everything I have to keep my self together when I see my grands go through it. My son has grown so wise. He said, Mother, how else will they ever learn to take a stand, to hold their ground. There is a certain amount of it they need to experience to be strong women and you know it.

    I used to tell my kids, don’t start it…but always finish it. If you get in trouble for defending yourself you will never be in trouble at home. The Libra took a lot of shit till he blew a gasket. The Gemini, I am afraid, might have actually been a bully. So, how to you tame a bully if you actually have a bully instead of the opposite.

    I found that to be harder.

  6. I see it from a different angle, that i cant really articulate for some reason.
    I guess if i had to try, id say that compassion is the most powerful force in the human experience. Compassion can grow out of a scenario like bullying, but I dont think its the rule. Ultimately its all good, but from the perspective that this is being stated from, i have to say that i disagree.

  7. yeah I wish it could be different, hate having to live under the blow torch of the public gaze, the manipulations, the warring and so on. Just finishing off a eleven year boxing-ring transit of pluto through my eighth house. Exit Pluto – Enter Saturn, just landed on my sun at 5 degrees. I’m truly grateful that Pluto’s blow-torching antics have left me with a nice suit of armour and some wonderful ‘Wolverine’ gloves. Bullies – in all their forms along with the humiliation and defeat and the getting up and falling back down give you that glowing don’t-mess-with-me complexion.

  8. I was bullied in high school. Dis not know at first how to respond. You do need to make an attempt to fight back. Then I had guidance counselor who was a big help. Eventually the girls came to apologize

  9. anonymoushermit

    I’m not sure. People tend to sympathize more with people different from them if they go through the same thing. In that scope, it can be seen as a gift.

    Like people who don’t have depression will think a depressed person is lazy, then one day one of their sibling ends up with depression, or bipolar, and they’re more likely to look at a different angle than before.

  10. The assertion is true.
    I use to ask my students if they could live their version of a perfect world, with their favorite foods, people etc., would they?
    After a minute or so of thinking, they generally say no. Hardships and tribulations help one learn and “level-up” so to speak.

  11. I think it’s true. Thanks to bullies at school, I developed a good left hook. There were no text messages in those days.

  12. Yes! Bring back the bullies or some acceptance of those tough edges. Get way to soft without them. Not enough hutzpa these days. My older sister was a terrible bully but without her no telling how far I would have drifted. These days kids are put on drugs. But the bullies these days seem a lot harsher. They have more power it seems. Tough question to answer.

  13. One of the major bullies of my life is on facebook. Every once in a while i like to visit her profile and revel in what a piece of crap she turned out to be.

    I really shouldn’t be that way, i know.

  14. No, I don’t agree. It’s the thing people tell themselves to feel better about awful things. I understand its protective function psychologically but I think it is better not to have this experience.

    1. Because I’m through this experience, so I also always thought that it is better not to have this experience. But this experience does indeed change people, makes them toughen, increases their empathy, and makes them more thoughtful. So was the question whether the experience is good (to this would certainly nobody agree) or whether it changes people to the better?

    2. I was thinking this too; that this is some sort of coping mechanism. If you can tell yourself that the abuse made you stronger then somehow it takes you out of victim status.

      Its not a bad coping mechanism for the short term but its a pretty thin in the long run. While it may be true that some strength was discovered, its also true that some brutalization occurred. I think its wiser to look at both of those truths rather than just one. And preferably an even higher truth, if one can find it. But tricking your mind into thinking that abuse is somehow a great way to discover who you are, is bound to run out of steam.

      1. I doubt very much that anyone here wanted to be interpreted in the way that being abused was a great way of self-discovery. The insight how it assisted in self-discovery is also nothing, which would occur in a short term. It occurs after wounds are healed as much as the healing of such wounds is possible.
        I’m still aware that I’m a victim. What I wonder about is what would have happened if I wouldn’t be a victim? For example would the peaceful atmosphere and silence in a library mean the same joy? Or would I the last time, when I got a death threat, have felt equally amused?

        1. My response was actually directed at kumquats, but yours made me think falkor, so ill direct this at you.
          Ive been bullied to fyi (if you only knew). Ive just come to different conclusions about this stuff than some others.

          I don’t wonder about what my life would be like if certain things hadn’t happened. That holds a seed of regret and a lot of attachment.

          Im suggesting that a deeper peace can be found, by just calling it what it is. Once you kind of accept the fact that sometimes people are just shitty (including myself) it kind of frees your mind up and there will be no need for psychological justifications. Sure being bullied might have helped me discover some strength in myself, but holding onto that idea is just as binding as holding onto the idea that one should resent the past.

          Im talking about a place beyond healing. Where you can see the thing that was hurt and subsequently healed, from the perspective of the Innocent Witness. Im talking about the place that comes before psychology.

          Hope that made some sense.

  15. It is as sad as it is true.
    When I see so many people, who had been bullied too, then I wonder why self-defense isn’t taught in schools.

  16. I think adversity happens.

    When it does happen (adversity, that is) it had a way of making us feeling squashed. Flattend. Sometimes – not guaranteed, not always – it can toughen us, make us stronger…. But come on, we’ve all known people who were crushed, overwhelmed – done in – by adversity. Yes?

    My heart goes out to everyone affected by violence in schools… A better understanding of how to teach people – children AND adults – about how to navigate through it… is my hope, always.

  17. Too many people whine but do nothing. Whine whine whine but don’t try to manage the problem or ignore the problem or fix the problem.

    Adversity sucks but it can help you figure it out. Adults crying “bully” at other adults is pathetic. (And no I’m not talking about actual spousal abuse or actual mental or physical abuse, so I just want to clarify that).

  18. Bullying is no good! There are plenty of adversities in life already and better ways to learn the ways of the world than abuse. Geez.

    1. OK, this excessive thing is nothing, that I would have ever done or considered to do. Probably nobody did mean to do this literally. But also none of my bullies has ever asked me to thank him. Otherwise I would probably have not thanked him, but ‘thanked’ him.

      1. I wasn’t interpreting it as literal. Even holding unexpressed gratitude towards them seems masochistic, to me. If I did benefit from what they did, I’d focus my gratitude towards myself or towards higher forces. I just don’t think it’s acceptable to bully people, but apparently that’s “PC”.

  19. Absolutely true…most so called “bullying” is nothing anyway. You are going to meet much worse adversity in life, better start learning how to deal with it….

    1. True. The term “bullying” has been redefined to include someone who (nebulously) hurts someone. So by that faulty logic, every person has been bullied. Avoid them, punch them, or find a solution. With RARE instances, that’s how it works.

  20. I was just thinking about how Jesus Christ (if you arent Christian you can also think of it as the Christ archetype) suffered at the hands of others and never thanked his perpetrators, he felt compassion for them instead. As far as tough goes, he would deliberately turn the other cheek, ultimately was persecuted…i guess that makes him tough in some sense, to be able to sacrifice his own ego for the good of the collective. But not sure he would thank the people who hurt him, he felt sorry for them

    1. This comparison is a bit strange because, only for example, Matt 26: 52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”
      I never had the option to call twelve legions of angels to have them fight for me.

      1. Not really seeing how that has anything to do with the point i was making. What i was saying has to do with toughness in comparison to christ and thanking bullies. What you wrote is subjective..youre saying (i think) christ had more powers than you becauae he could call on bullies, therefore my what i said is null ?

        Have you actually read the bible a day in your life or did you go furiously looking for something to try and prove me wrong? If so, you have way too much time on your hands.

        1. Falkor, do you have virgo in your birthchart? You seem to have an urge to critique/critisize, (with a combative energy…mars?)…i dont know if youre aware that is what you constantly do. Something to think about.

          Btw, I’m neptunian…reflecting it back to you 🙂

          1. Dude, you are the only one who quoted any gospel, i think its strange that you dont see that. You know the blind spot posts by elsa…go and read them over and over. Youre virgo needs to get a grip on things. You cant just go criticizing things people write because you have strange personal triggers. How are tou seriously supposed to live tlike that?

  21. I have met many people lately with difficult charts, pasts, and adversity and they dont know what to do with it.. they suffer and repeat patterns.. it isnt as prescriptive as all this. It is a platitude not an insight

  22. Is adversity a gift?

    If adversity were a gift, we would all be giving each other broken toys and torn clothing for Christmas, and we would all look forward with glee to receiving such. Oh the skills we would learn and the moral fortitude we would develop!

    If adversity were a gift, the Irish blessing would read

    May you always have…
    No walls against the winds
    No roof against the rain
    No tea and no fire
    No laughter to cheer you
    Nobody you love near you
    And nothing your heart might desire.

    Oh the strength of character we would acquire!

    If adversity were a gift, we would not have doctors, we would simply endure the fractured leg with bone sticking out 6″. Hey! My other leg is fine and my mother’s got CANCER! Lucky HER! (And we would wince with gratitude at the oozing abscess in our mouth shooting darts up into our eyeball while our broken leg bone twirls about.)

    If adversity is a gift, then we should close all grocery stores right now and go scrounge and beg for food. Every day. Over and over. Forever. Okay, just for one year. One week?

    And we should sell our car. And never mind the bus. We should walk everywhere we need to go. And carry home whatever we need. In the torrential rain. In the searing heat (oops, there goes the ice cream and the frozen pizza).

    Adversity is a gift! Yah! Bring it on! The more, the better. And don’t let up. Please don’t let up!

    Adversity is a gift.

    P.S. — If you send me a SASE (anybody remember those?), I will be happy to mail you some adversity free of charge.

    (Does anybody ever write “P.S.” anymore? When’s the last time you wrote “P.S.”?)

  23. I do believe there’s a limit to adversity, where it just becomes cruel pain and torture, even if it’s mental.

    But a good enough size (LOL) of adversity would teach someone a lesson, like being bullied for four years, or whatever.

  24. i wouldn’t thank my bullies. though they illuminated the ugliness of human nature in a way i cannot rationalize away.
    they target the weak. i am fundamentally weak. in that i’m extremely sensitive. and socially awkward.
    so they always target me. i expect, avoid, deflect.
    but i can’t thank them. i wish more people were less empty inside and had less need to feel power over someone else such that they were driven to engage in needless cruelty.
    i see them as weak. as children. as needing validation of their sense of purpose. i don’t take them personally (most of the time.)
    but does it make me stronger? no, i have ptsd and am wading through decades of trauma. that definitely leaves it marks.

    but it makes me wiser.
    and angry. at human nature. and how our cultures shape us. one of those things i can try to change.

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