So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Sunday, September 21, 2014
That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
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.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.