Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Value of Struggle

Most people think that by having an easy life without difficulties or problems is good. Indeed, who wants a tough life? But what struggle, be it physical or mental is necessary to make us grow stronger in body and mind.

“Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.” - Oprah Winfrey

I am who I am because of the struggle that I had experienced during my younger days. I came from a very poor family. Thus, my parent has to work day and night to meet our daily needs. Without much guidance in the area of education, I did very badly and hence I do not have a good foundation in my education. I only started to do well in my studies when I reach high school. Partly because of this, I always take self-improvement very seriously and know that I need to guide my children in their studies as well.

The bible tell us in Romans 5:3-4

"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." - Anne Bradstreet

Let's take a look at this story:

A man found a cocoon of an emperor moth. He took it home so that he could watch the moth come out of the cocoon.

On the day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the moth for several hours as the moth struggled to force the body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther. It just seemed to be stuck.

Then the man, in his kindness, decided to help the moth, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The moth then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the moth because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the little moth spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the moth to get through the tiny opening was the way of forcing fluid from the body of the moth into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. Freedom and flight would only come after the struggle. By depriving the moth of a struggle, he deprived the moth of health.

(Source: Internet; Author Unknown)

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were to go through our life without any obstacles, we would be crippled. So instead of cursing and swearing, understand that they are part of the making of a better you.

Photo 1 by 小猫王 taken from this source
Photo 2 by iwasteela taken from this source

Related posts:


Jennifer said...

Hi Sam...

Wow... I think we were on the same page today! :-)

We approached the same topic in slightly different ways...



Sam Chan said...

Oohh.. Jennifer!
I had just checked out your blog. Well, indeed, somehow we have almost similar line of thoughts today.
That's really cool :-)

Best Wishes

J@n!ce said...

Sam, it is through the hurdles & obstacles in life that make us strive for the better & achieve what we are today :D :D

Sam Chan said...

Hi Janice,
That's right... every hurdles or problems solved makes us stronger and better!

Thanks for adding your insight and wisdom! I really appreciate that.

Best Wishes to you and your family!

Honman said...

Good post. A wild plant is much stronger than a plant growing in a green house. We faced challenges from hurdles and problems. But we grow stronger after that. With positive mindset, we can face any hurdles and obstacles coming in our way.

surjit said...

Life has meaning only in the struggle. Triumph or defeat is in the hands of the Gods. So let us celebrate the struggle!
A good and motivating post, Sam Chan.
God bless you.

Sam Chan said...

Thanks Honman, for sharing your valuable thoughts.

Let's forget difficulties, but not the lessons learned from them.

My best wishes.

Sam Chan said...

Hi Surjit,
Thanks for sharing this wisdom.

Indeed, life only becomes meaningful when we have the many struggle to overcome with great lessons to learn. After which, we get ourselves strengthen.

God bless you and your family.

Breezie said...

What a truly inspirational post Sam.

My dad died at a very young age of only 37, I was 5, my mother never remarried, but she succeeded in raising me and taught me the difference between want and need at a very early age, that is something that I grew to appreciate as I grow older and into adulthood and yes, life was a struggle then and it still continues to be a stuggle.

But I either heard or read someplace ages ago that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger and I have come to understand that more and more.

Sam Chan said...

Hi Breezie,
Thanks for sharing your valuable experience.

Your mother is indeed a wise one that had make a difference in your life!

Well, I believe everything happens for a reason. The hard times that we go through build character, making us a much stronger person.

The difficulty is to explain the value of struggle to all that haven't gone through difficulties in life.

My Best Wishes to you, Breezie!