Here are two more posts from disaboom. One person takes the question of do “we need adversity to grow” in a new direction. She explains how she finds gratitude in comparing her situation to someone elses. The second post answers the question through the filter of her faith.
B wrote: Very interesting question, Rachel. I think we do. I know going through my cancer and amputation made me a stronger, hopefully better, person. Adversity that other people experience also makes us realize how good we have it ourselves. I had a hard time for a long time, but I felt lucky too, because I met several people who had it much worse than I did. The young lady (26 then) who had uterine AND breast cancer, comes to mind. She will never be able to give birth to her own children, but I had had my boys already. Hopefully being grateful that we are not the one going through the adversity will make us stronger and will make us better people.
Rachel: You brought up something that I hadn’t considered B. That of the adversity of another person. Unless adversity touches us personally or intimately, like in the case of a spouse, child, dear friend or parent, it doesn’t have the same power to make us stronger, or understand our true self any more clearly.
Considering the challenges of another does, it seem, have the power to create gratitude in ones own life. Kind of a strange way to get to gratitude, but it does seem to be one way we get there.
A friend of mine who became a chair user after a SCI once said to me,
“I don’t think I could deal with being blind like you.”
I said, “so it’s easier for you to deal with all that goes with having a spinal cord injury than it would be to have sight issues?”
“For sure, he said, I can’t imagine loosing my sight.”
And maybe that’s it, we can’t imagine or we imagine it as worst than what we are familiar with so we feel gratful that it’s not us experiencing something.
H wrote: Love your topic and have to agree with everyone else. The answer is a resounding YES!!!! Even the Good Lord told us in His blessed Word: In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world! That is great news to me. He also says that we will not be tempted above that we can bear. He knows our strength better than we know our own selves. He says that he knows the number of our hairs on our heads. Wow, now that takes some counting for some of us! I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason!–no coincidences with God! I think that if we submit to God humbly He eventually makes everything make sense! I loved the tree analogy! I love to think about trees and how that God told us I am the tree, you are the branches. If you abide in me great things will happen (paraphrasing). I love to think about how the Holy Spirit is our roots and if we are rooted and grounded in Christ, our roots will hold us up no matter how the wind blows!!!!
Rachel: I like the visual of “a power greater than ourselves” being the trunk of our tree.