I used to think that adversity was something that nobody should have to face; that it was horribly unfair and something that I wouldn’t want for anyone. Those of us who have faced it head on know what it feels like to be treated differently because of our race, gender, sexual orientation, or any number of other things. We’ve experienced life in a way that others haven’t; not because we wanted to prove our strengths, but rather because we’ve been left with only two options: turn back with our heads bowed in shame or march forward with our heads held high.
A great many of us do turn back; we choose to shy away from the people who wish us harm for things that are beyond our control; for being who and what we were meant to be while they stew in their fear and ignorance. A portion of us, however, choose to fight for what we want in this life. We march forward and refuse to bend to the wills of lesser men and women. We stand tall and face every obstacle with courage and a bold defiance of those who stand against us.
I used to think that we shouldn’t have to face such opposition; that we shouldn’t have to deal with the challenges born from hate, prejudice, and inequality. When I stop to think about this opposition and the will of those who tell me I’m in the wrong for loving whomever I love, however, I realize that their opposition and overt need to destroy some part of me inadvertently gives me strength. Every obstacle they put in my way becomes an opportunity for me to find out who and what I am. Every word laced with malice and every deed bred from fear forces me to make a decision about my life and what I want from it. Every piece of opposition doesn’t chip away at the good parts of me, but rather at the bad parts. With each decision to push forward I leave behind a weaker version of myself. I leave behind the pieces I no longer need and take with me something new in their place.
Adversity isn’t a monster that I should fear and loathe, but rather the thing that has made me who I am; the thing that has given me more than it has taken away. While it would be easy to say that it’s horribly unfair, the reality is that without adversity we not only cannot know ourselves, but we can barely begin to know others as well.
Just some random thoughts for today.
Until next time…stay classy.
– C.M. Berry