Philosophers Look At Adversity

I am enjoying a high-level view of various philosophers through the ages. Aristotle is perhaps my favorite, but Francis Bacon has recently come to my attention because of his view on adversity. Some of his words on that topic are what this post is about.


The virtue of prosperity is temperance; the virtue of adversity is fortitude; which in morals is the more heroical virtue. It is more heroic to face difficulties, than to enjoy things which come readily or easily.

Francis Bacon

One of my favorite posts categories here on RJsCorner is “Adversity Builds Character”. Overcoming adversity is character building. It shapes us into who we are and who we will become. It creates the confidence to overcome and enables learning mechanisms to deal with the things that don’t go our way. I have had more than my share of adversity in life, and I think it made me what I am proud of being today. So, I am kinda like Francis Bacon in the belief that things learned as a result of adversity are much more valuable than things that come easily.

Maybe this can come down to the old saying “the school of hard knocks”.

It is only when tested by misfortune that we discover what strengths we have.

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