ISSN 1538-1080

Challenges, Adversity and Tragedies Can Be Transformative Teachers

Challenges, Adversity and Tragedies Can Be Transformative Teachers

A setback is a setup for a comeback Willie Jolley I am astounded when I look back on my life and see how many times Ive found a negative experience turn into a positive one. Ive come to wonder in a generic way what messages or lessons I might discover in such types of occurrences. Let me start with some examples. A very common one is when I have a health issue such as a cold, a muscle sprain or a minor abrasion wound. None of these is a serious problem, but each in its own way makes life sufficiently uncomfortable so that I truly wish I wasnt suffering the sniffles, the cough or the pains that make it hard to move comfortably through my daily routines. Being a workaholic, a cold or the flu were often invitations for me to take a rest in my earlier years. It was not a rare occurrence when I had a vacation of a week or two that I came down with the sniffles and a mild fever near the start of the holiday. With the enforced bedrest I let go of all duties and chilled out. Pain is a regular participant in these sorts of lessons. It is the way our unconscious mind gets our attention, much like sounding a strident telephone ring. And when we receive the message, the pain rapidly relents (Benor, 2009). Illness is the doctor to whom we pay most heed; to kindness, to knowledge, we make promises only; to pain we obey. Marcel Proust

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