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Sunday, September 21, 2014


That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Famous quote. It's bold. It's strong. It's only partially true. That's the problem with so many nifty sayings; they have uncomfortable exceptions.

Sometimes adversity does make us stronger. We don't wonder if we have the right stuff or not. We've been tested and survived. Nothing like troubles to sort out what's important in your life. You also find out who your true friends are. The mind can focus on what's really valuable.

That's the good outcome.

That which does not kill us can leave us maimed for life. I guess there was no PTSD in Nietzche's time. Troubles can scar a person for life. Many who are not physically killed are mentally shattered. It doesn't have to be as dramatic as war either. An old high school friend of mine went into a downward spiral after his divorce. He lost his family, then his business, and retreated into a bottle. It almost killed him. It might yet.

Then there are things that don't kill us and make us stronger in some areas, weaker in others. For example, lessons learned in war might not transfer well to civilian life. Anyone who lives long enough is likely to pick up a few scars along with that extra strength. The wise have the self knowledge to know where they are damaged and do their best to work around it.

Man is strange creature, part angel and part demon. Sometimes when challenged we respond with out best selves. Other times . . . not so much. The same person can be a hero one day and villain the next.

“That which does not kill us . . . may give us valuable life lessons and skills . . . or not” doesn't make for a great slogan.

Might be good enough for bumper sticker philosophy.



  1. Sad, but true. I think MOST folks have a lot of scars, though they may not be visible to most folks.

  2. a chain is strongest at its weakest link

    try out that one


  3. Let's hope if something almost killed you, you would be smart enough to stay away from that thing. Trouble is, most people are not that smart, like your thirsty friend.

    1. I had a dog that was pretty sure that "this time the skunk won't spray him." Hope I'm smarter than that old smelly dog.

  4. Everyone is fighting some damn battle or another in their minds and souls, my bil still thinks of Vietnam every damn day, he cannot be by himself yet married a crazy woman in my opinion and fathered 3 kids only to have the woman go to a mental place, he lost full custody cause his ptsd prevented him from caring for all of them, they were adopted by a family, he has never heard from them and it haunts him, we tell him he could not do anything else, no family member were allowed to adopt for fear he would take them, he was in a big jam, he broke down and tried to kill himself, he got the help he has needed but he is a wounded person who works daily and now met another woman as a friend, the last gal died after 25 years of a common law marriage, she could never marry her medical benefits would be taken and he would have been responsible for her which he made little money to do so but he wanted to marry, she died and he got hassled by her so called family, some family they wanted the old mobile they lived in and other possessions my husband told them try to take them and something will happen by me to you, they ran and never talked to him again..He is just now after 11 years able to date and get on with his life, but he will never be the same the war took his mind and soul, all the money the VA gave him and gives him is nothing compared to his mental health which is deteriorating fast..Why can't their be some justice for people who served and were heroes, if they did not take their limbs they took their minds, it took 36 years to get his ptsd and mental status acknowleged, he lost the love of his life and to tell the truth his soul, he suffers and suffer, don't tell me about hell it is certainly here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. It seems that sometimes god does give a man more than he an handle.

      The details vary, but the story is the same. I know a lot of Vets who never fully came home.

  5. What doesn't kill you sometimes leaves you so close to the hereafter you will wish you were dead..No one can convince me that thee is hell, now for heaven I think it is here too, the people who love and care about you and your children, nothing else comes close in my opinion...have a wonderful week and keep on sailing!