The stronger person
For the record
I have journeyed through some difficult times in life. Some of those difficulties were the results of my own doing - foolish decisions or poor choices. And some of those difficulties weren't my fault at all. Situations happened, and I soldiered through.
I have been told on more than one occasion that, in many ways, I should be grateful for any challenges in my life, since the experiences have made me a “stronger person.” That two-word description always has irritated me: stronger person. What does that mean? And how would anyone be able to judge if I actually were “stronger” for having weathered a personal storm? To me, the whole “stronger person” thing just sounded like one of those trite expressions people use to transition to another conversation. That is, until recently.
I was watching a documentary about a recovering drug addict. The lady was about 40 and had a 17-year-old daughter. When the girl was interviewed, she gave a tear-filled account of what life had been like with a drugged-up mother. She said she still was bitter and a little angry toward her mother. Then it happened: The interviewer asked the girl if she thought going through this experience had made her a stronger person. There it was again, that expression I despised!
But her answer changed the way I see the enduring of life's struggles. She said the experience gave her the wisdom and strength to guide others in the same situation. So, yes, she supposed she was a stronger person. Advising other kids who have or had drug-addicted parents was something she could do, probably better than anyone.
I started thinking about what unique lessons my life has carved, and how no other person in the world shares my exact shade of wisdom. And, without even realizing it, the stronger person inside me raises her head anytime I need her. Whether it's being a rock for a friend or family member, or just making it through a trying, hectic week.
Think about the last four years - how the economy has changed, and how different business is today from 2008. The industry is starting to turn in a positive direction, but most folks agree that our “new normal” will be quite different from anything we've ever known.
So, with what you have been through - keeping your company on its feet, continuing to employ as many of your staff members as possible, and hanging on until things got better - are you a stronger person? What can you teach the next generation? What have you learned that you can apply to your life in the future? Think about it; I am guessing you've learned more than you initially thought.
About the Author
Jennifer Morrell was the editor of Masonry magazine. She has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry as a writer and editor, covering such topics as real estate and construction, insurance, health care, relationships and sports. A graduate of The University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in magazines and is an award-winning newspaper columnist.