Sunday, August 2, 2009
"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors."
Adversity is a Character Builder. Adversity is the Master Teacher
who presents us with the obstacles we must overcome, and the
Lessons which we must master, in order to gain personal enrichment
and spiritual enlightenment. It is the Fire in which we forge our
personal and spiritual strengths. When we face Adversity head on,
overcome it, and Learn from it, we strengthen our Character and
become the Master, and Hero, of our Personal Destiny.
Metaphor, mythology, and Symbolism provide us with excellent
examples of the strength which is forged within the Fires of
The metaphor "baptism by fire" teaches us that it is only by facing
our ordeals, fears, and Inner Demons head-on that we can build,
improve, and strengthen our character.
The Roman god Vulcan and the Greek god Hephaestus forged their
finest steel in the intense heat of their furnaces. This steel was
used to create the armor and weaponry that Heroes required in
order to vanquish their adversaries...their Adversities.
The ancient Alchemists purified their most sacred metals in the
Fires of their hottest furnaces. The heat of these furnaces
dissolved all which was not pure, leaving only that which is pure
(another metaphor for overcoming, and dissolving, Adversity).
Just as the strongest steel can only be forged in the most intense
Fires so, too, our Truest Nature can only manifest itself when
tested by the "Flames of Adversity".
Adversity can come to us in many forms: from minor setbacks to
major tragedies. It is how we Choose to handle Adversity that
determines the person we are, and the person we will Become.
When we face, overcome, and Learn from Adversity we forge
strong character traits. When we avoid the challenges of Adversity
we instill weak character traits within us which prevent us from
experiencing personal and spiritual growth.
Our spiritual and emotional skills are just like the physical muscles
in our body: when they are not used they become weak and useless;
And, just as it is important for us to understand how we handle
our own Adversity, it is also important for us to evaluate how others
handle their Adversities.
This is an especially important consideration when we are
considering a business or personal Relationship. Does this other
person handle stressful and Adverse situations with calmness,
prudence, insight, and Awareness, or, do they lose control of
themselves, become confused or hysterical, and make quick and
hasty Decisions? Just as we must understand ourselves, so too
must we understand, and be cautious of, other persons we allow
to enter our lives.
To quote the ancient Roman philosopher Epictetus, "Adversity
introduces people to themselves". Therefore, the next Time we are
faced with an Adverse situation we should recognize it for what it is.
It is an opportunity to grow and acquire new skills which will help
us face future challenges that await us as we Travel our Road
toward our Personal Destiny.
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Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.
© copyright Joseph Panek 2009