The phrase in the title above comes from Friedrich Nietzsche who was a German researcher of philosophy in the mid 1800s. He was considered a child prodigy who unapologetically spoke his mind on a number of topics. I kinda live by that strategy myself. 🤓 He had many controversial quotes attached to his name, but I seriously cling to the one above as being fundamental to building character in most of us.
For this post, I will talk how adversity builds character on a personal level. I have certainly had my share of adversity in my life. It is likely small compared to some others, but it is ignormous when compared to most. (Yeah, I know, ignormous is not a real word but the kids seem to like it 🤪) When you come from a middle -income family you likely don’t face many struggles in your life. In some ways I pity those kinds of folks. They tend to grow up thinking that the world owes them a satisfying life, and they don’t need to do anything to make that happen on their own. I will say it up front that to me privilege is one of the dirtiest words in the English dictionary. It basically says I deserve something that others don’t.
Getting back the adversity theme, I was exposed to a very narcissistic mother for portions of my life. That exposure had profound effects on my personal development. When she left dad, a brother, and me when I was nine-year-old to find greener pastures I was convinced that I was the reason. I just didn’t love her enough. She came back into my life about twenty years later when her husband at that time dumped her for his much younger secretary. It was then as an adult I discovered the extent of her narcissism. She died with only me who felt an obligation to her birthing me. My two brothers simply didn’t want anything to do with her anymore. A half sister committed suicide prior to her death due primarily to childhood induced damage.
I was always the odd-man-out in my personal life. I just couldn’t seem to be one of the gang so to speak. Eye contact was a painful thing for me; it is as if I am looking into someone’s soul. I just can’t do for more than an occasional glance. Believe it or not, even before RJsCorner, I have bluntly said what was on my mind. That characteristic turns many people off. When we were kicked out of a church due to me saying that I did not believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old, my wife shouted at me “Why can’t you keep your mouth shut!!” It is only recently that I discovered that these traits have a name and that is Asperger’s Syndrome. If you want to know more about this personal journey click here.
I could go on and on but my 500 word post limit is approaching. I have had some significant adversity in my life but it is primarily responsible for making me the person that I proudly am now. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, even privilege. 🤣