Strength Through Experience

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Still on a roll from yesterday with  some words from one of the women who inspires me.  Eleanor Roosevelt is definitely on my wall of heroes.  And what she has to say about looking fear in the face is a hard truth, but one we all have to realize.
Life is sometimes incredibly hard, but we can get through it because we’ve gotten through the hard times before.
And if you’re one of the few looking hard times in the face for the first time, well, keep on going  This is your chance to test your strengths.
Actually, this leads me to a point I was discussing with a class the other day.  Millennials came up, as did one of their other names, Hot House Flowers, a generation so unused to struggle that at the first sign of adversity, they crawl up and break. Parents think it’s a good thing to protect their children, to spare them from failure because failure hurts.  I’ve written about this topic in my other blog as it’s a trend I see as being insidiously dangerous to America and her people.
Of course it does, but it also teaches children to fail when the stakes are low. We have to allow children to fail, to take consequences for their behavior, to face the scary things in life, to get a bit bumped up. Am I draconian? No, not at all. I hated to see my son in that situation. I still do. But I knew that his life would only get harder and the stakes would get higher, not because I’m a bitter pessimist, but because I’m a realist. My son is an actor. He would face a life of failure–not getting the audition, getting a bad review, getting gossiped about in the press (eventually!).  Even the top A-listers will tell you it’s hard even at the top.  At the beginning, it’s brutal.
Even had he not chosen such a crushing career, tatistically speaking, his heart would be broken at least once; his beloved grandmother will someday pass on, as will his mother and father.  Hard times come to all of us.  He will need coping skills, and as Roosevelt reminds us, we get through them because we’ve done it before.
We don’t have to do it alone–reach out to people, get help, find support–but sometimes the greatest comfort comes from knowing our own strength because it’s been tested and it has triumphed.
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About maggiec

Educator, writer, world traveler, bibliophile, theater devotee, cat lover, mother of an actor, adopted auntie to hundreds. Spreading love (and literacy), one day at a time.
This entry was posted in advice, discipline, life, Parents and Parenthood, success, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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