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Old 08-27-2010, 12:19 AM
tankman1989 tankman1989 is offline
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Lightbulb Hardship molds & strengthens us - Should all people deal with hardship at some point?



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I was reading a thread about unemployment and it got me thinking about how certain hardships are good for the overall "spirit" of a person because it shows them what they are capable of, what they can overcome and what true necessities are. Many generations before the current one(s) have grown up with much less than we have. They have had to make due with what was local and easily available. They cherished the small things and were very happy when they received "special" things. Most earlier generations also lived through wars, recession and depression which strengthened their characters and made them learn conservation of materials. They learned not to be wasteful as well.

My question, or statement, is "Has the ability to purchase anything at anytime at a very low price destroyed our nation's ability to be survivalists?" While not all people are spoiled "brats", I think we have coddled the younger generations for the last 30-40 years or more. This can be seen in the entitlement attitude and the "welfare" state.

I have heard a lot of stories from my grandmother about how times were tough during the depression and how they had rations during WWII. While our current recession/depression is not a cake walk I think it is a FAR cry from anything experienced in the past. This is because we have the federal government on which many people fall back for support. This was not so in the 30's. There was no social security disability widely available nor medicare/medicade, no CHIP (whild medical insurance), no food stamps, no nothing. People worked or they starved.

I can say for a fact that being out of work has expanded my vision of what is truly important in life. It has made me learn to make what I have last, how to improvise with what is available for that which I do not have, what is a necessity and what is a luxury and much more. Had I not lost my job and "suffered" though these times I would be much more selfish and lack the foresight of preparing for the worse and hoping for the best.

I think the fact that so much is available at a persons whim has made us a soft nation which suffers from depression at the slightest upset. If everyone isn't a "winner" then things aren't fair and people are unhappy. What BS. Losing is what motivates someone to practice or work harder to improve themselves.

So how is this going to effect us as a nation? I can only assume that it will not be good. I think it would be an excellent idea to have EVERY child of this nation have a common thread of experience. In some nations this is military service. This common thread should have some type of deprivation experience, endurance building, drive/motivation building and self-analysis (learn personal strengths and weaknesses).

I think mandatory military experience would be great and people could choose a field in which to specialize for instance if they object to firearms and are a dedicated pacifist they could specialize in being a medic or emergency medicine. I think a good idea would be for people to serve their State vs the Federal military so maybe everyone could server the National Guard for at least 6 months. This could be done over 2 summers, maybe after their junior year and then after their senior year. After this they would have a much better idea of their personal strengths. They could then follow whatever path they choose, but they would know a lot more about themselves which may allow for a better choice of career fields or schooling such as college, tech school, military or entering the job market. Currently kids are pushed out of school and they are supposed to know what they want to do with the rest of their lives! How ridiculous is that, they have no experience in anything at this point!

So what are your thoughts on how hardship strengthens people?

Do you think our pampered society has become weak and how could this effect us in the future?
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:41 AM
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I definitely think it strengthens you. It's a prime function of nearly every military school, to inoculate you to stress, cause you to learn that you can overcome your perceived limits, and generate confidence.

As to whether or not everyone should experience it... hmm, good question. Ideally, wouldn't it be nice if people that don't intend to experience adversity could just skip the need to train for it? Since that's never going to happen, I'd probably say yes. I know it served me well once I finally got to combat.

I definitely think our society is weak. It's a double edged sword. I see people trying to ban guns, pass laws against stupid things like smoking in public, and I think that those could only be the thoughts of pampered people that lead easy lives. People's lives are so safe that they can worry about only the bad effects of little things, and willfully ignore the benefits that are only needed in times of emergency.

To be honest, though, it's had a negative effect on my life in the civilian world. I laugh when my supervisors and managers lose their cool over things that I consider to be trivial. The little voice in the back of my head is saying, "Really? Email is down? AT LEAST WE'RE NOT TAKING FIRE, JACKOFF." I've become largely unsympathetic to the daily plights of the civilian world, and it gets me in trouble because I just can't motivate myself to get all worked up and give a damn about things that I probably should.
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:15 AM
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"War is peace,
Freedom is slavery,
Ignorance is strength"



--

If I am a hard-working individual, why should I suffer hardship?

--

This is a communist idea, that suffering and hardship is virtuous.
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:06 AM
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I definitely think it strengthens you. It's a prime function of nearly every military school, to inoculate you to stress, cause you to learn that you can overcome your perceived limits, and generate confidence.

As to whether or not everyone should experience it... hmm, good question. Ideally, wouldn't it be nice if people that don't intend to experience adversity could just skip the need to train for it? Since that's never going to happen, I'd probably say yes. I know it served me well once I finally got to combat.
What's the old saying? "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger"?

I like that comment, those "people that don't intend to experience adversity..." That's the problem w/ people not preppping--they don't intend to experience the reason why they might need to.

Quote:

I definitely think our society is weak. It's a double edged sword. I see people trying to ban guns, pass laws against stupid things like smoking in public, and I think that those could only be the thoughts of pampered people that lead easy lives. People's lives are so safe that they can worry about only the bad effects of little things, and willfully ignore the benefits that are only needed in times of emergency.
I've written on this topic; I believe we're trying to legislate and regulate risk out of people's lives, and it is this misguided approach that makes people vulnerable to scams, lotteries, buying houses they can't afford, excessive credit card debt, and so on.

I believe people increasingly expect the government to ensure their safety so they don't have to worry about it. There are some places where this is reasonable--ingredients on labels for food, other things that are so complicated the average person can't be expected to know about it--but in general, every time something bad happens to somebody, we try to regulate or legislate the risk away.

Increasingly, we don't expect or require people to exercise basic caution as they make decisions in their lives. There has to be someone to blame, instead of taking responsibility for what they've done.

People who have experienced adversity are better situated to deal with it again; should we require it? Don't know about that.


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To be honest, though, it's had a negative effect on my life in the civilian world. I laugh when my supervisors and managers lose their cool over things that I consider to be trivial. The little voice in the back of my head is saying, "Really? Email is down? AT LEAST WE'RE NOT TAKING FIRE, JACKOFF." I've become largely unsympathetic to the daily plights of the civilian world, and it gets me in trouble because I just can't motivate myself to get all worked up and give a damn about things that I probably should.
I've never been in the service, but I've had what's probably my share of adversity, including both parents dying of cancer, the second one leaving behind two minor children (I was a very young adult at the time). I had to grow up faster than I'd have liked.

And while I've never been under fire (and hope to never experience that!), I have the same reaction to certain events that you do: "This isn't as bad as that other stuff I went through."

I *am* working; if I have a problem or don't like what's happening, I just remind myself that there are TONS of people who would love to have my problems.
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:24 AM
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I see this also as being related to personal responsibility.

I visited Mexico a few years ago; among my experiences was visiting the pyramid at Chitzen Itzu, what has now been labeled one of the seven new wonders of the world.

Back then, one could climb the pyramid. However, that sounds easier than it was. The steps--there were 91 of them--were about a 10-inch rise, and 10-inch depth. Hard to climb.

And because those steps were roughly the same in rise and run, the pyramid sides were roughly a 45-degree angle.

If you fell, you tumbled down, hard. I asked our guide, and he said that, yes, people had fallen and died.

The only concession to safety was a knotted rope that had been run from the top, down the middle of the steps, just lying on the steps. No handrails, no safety harnesses, no nothing. You could choose to use the rope, or not. Most did not.

Here's the thing I liked: As an individual, I had to make a determination whether the pleasure and memories of scaling that pyramid were worth the risk involved. And there was risk. Climbing wasn't so bad as you could lean into the steps as you climbed; coming down was a whole 'nother deal.

If I fell and hurt myself, I had no one to blame but myself: I could see there were no handrails, the steps were steep, they had sand and other detritus on them that made them a bit slippery, they weren't perfectly even, and they went high in the air.

So I got to choose. Coming down, I sat on my butt on each step, and came down one at a time. I saw others who walked down--I thought they were nuts--but it was their choice. My choice was to slide down on my butt, as the risk-reward ratio was WAY out of whack: I'd have gotten down a bit faster stepping down, but only one misstep would have spelled disaster.

Mexico was like that generally. No handrails in stairwells in the place we stayed; no backup beepers on buses and trucks. To survive, you had to be more aware.

Our society tries to knock that out of people, by attempting to ensure their safety at every turn. I believe we need to have risk, and potential harm, as a warning to others about the consequences of stupid decisions.

When we bail out homeowners, we essentially say that they don't have to be responsible for their decisions. Oh, I'm not talking about someone who held a good job, was responsible, but in losing their job they can no longer make their mortgage payments. I'm referring to the idiots who bought more home than they could sustain over time, and to the banks who lent them that money in the first place.

If there is no pain resulting from poor decisionmaking, there is no incentive to avoid that poor decisionmaking in the future.

BTW, this is why I feel the Libertarian party has no chance: It would require people to be responsible for their lives. What are the prospects for that?
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:36 AM
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While I don't think we need to look for hardship (lol) to make us stronger, we have become a fairly pampered society. Hardships are kind of in "they ey of the beholder" I think, people should work hard and use disapline and save for what they have, not expect "instant" gratification, which is what we have now in society. That's not a real hardship, but it isn't what people are used to today. Doing things yourself isn't a hardship, but many are used to just hiring someone else to get something done.
I think that the best thing a person can do for themselves is to suffer a bit for something they want, but what "suffering" really is, is up to the individual.
(suffering/hardship, same thing to most)

When our folks were young, they had to scrimp and save for the downpayment for a house...it meant eating lesser cuts of meat, not going out to the movies, only having one car and no credit cards. Until recently, it was easy to get a morgage for a house three times the size you needed with little or no down payment. Some might call that a hardship. I don't.
Many folks now who are unemployed are having to go to WiFi places or the library to get on line, doing without cable...many think that it a hardship, but they learn to do other things and live with out. Some hardships are a "win/win", some are lessons learned. It is a strengthening thing in my opinion.
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:02 AM
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Look at any teenager today that has had the world handed to them. They have no capacity to do anything for themself, no desire to, and expect the world to take care of them.

Had that same teenager been denied things, made to get a job, made to earn stuff they wanted, they would be a better adjusted person for having these things.

Have someone go through a time of no income, and they become better at money management. No running water in the house and they become faster at taking a shower(in the barn). People from the depression era still turn all lights off when leaving the room. That is better for expenses, the environment, everything.


Struggles in life are what teach us to made our own decisions, usually for the better. We, as a species, need them to exist properly. I am thinking of a line from the Matrix when they are talking about the "perfect life" first one that the people keep waking up from.

You can tell a child not to touch the hot stove a hundred times, he will still try to touch it. The first time he does touch it, he learns. He learns "the Why". The Why is what makes it a lasting lesson.

So yes, we need the hardships. Without them we end up with a bunch of adults acting like dependant children asking for everything to be given to us and not knowing why we shouldn't.
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:07 AM
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Default I got it from my Momma

My Momma always said, with mock sternness when I whined, that "Suffering builds character".

She grew up poor, and in her mind my complaints about having the wrong brand of cookie, or having to drink generic soda instead of real Coke were laughable.

Growing up she suffered in a way I cannot comprehend. She used to tell me in the early 80s that our new car, a base model Mustang, cost more than the house she grew up in (about $10,000).

To her, having a full pantry was the penultimate goal, and a cause for rejoicing. I have that value to this day, and my wife still thinks it's weird!

I still miss my Mom.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:35 AM
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My Momma always said, with mock sternness when I whined, that "Suffering builds character".

She grew up poor, and in her mind my complaints about having the wrong brand of cookie, or having to drink generic soda instead of real Coke were laughable.

Growing up she suffered in a way I cannot comprehend. She used to tell me in the early 80s that our new car, a base model Mustang, cost more than the house she grew up in (about $10,000).

To her, having a full pantry was the penultimate goal, and a cause for rejoicing. I have that value to this day, and my wife still thinks it's weird!

I still miss my Mom.

My wife doesn't get prepping. My mother-in-law, who lived through the depression, does.

I think the "full pantry" thing resonates with that generation pretty well.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:44 AM
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After Vietnam, EVERY day is Christmas. That's a saying I picked up from a fellow "client" in the VA mental hygiene system back in the 1980's.
Adversity builds character.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:51 AM
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Hardship cuts down on waste and if hard enough and long enough the stupid and the weak as well
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:10 PM
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Yes .. and .. yes! (my answers to your 2 questions).
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Old 08-27-2010, 03:21 PM
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Some of us here have really been hammered hard at different points in our lives... whether it was or is a loved one passing on, or losing everything we ever held dear , like possessions...

But i agree that many of us are a lot stronger because of different adversities we have had to walk through...

My aunt told me when I was going through some very hard and tearing up times.... that in order to become stronger and grow inside, you gotta walk through the fire.... it hurts and it burns, but the finished product is tough and finer than gold...

makes no difference whether the issues at hand are spiritual or economical or physical... we either learn from those times and gain insight and understanding about ourselves or we just cave and die off....

The choices of what we do to learn are up to each of us... no one can share totally what has happened to them, but they can share feeling, fears they went through... but in the end every person goes through something that makes us a better person.... or at least it is supposed to...
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Old 08-27-2010, 03:37 PM
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Some of us here have really been hammered hard at different points in our lives... whether it was or is a loved one passing on, or losing everything we ever held dear , like possessions...
Maybe everyone is different, but personally I in absolutely no way count losing friends and loved ones, or possessions, as hardship that I learned anything from or grew much as a person. I'm not saying it doesn't totally suck, but I don't feel like anything about me has improved because of it. I've lost family members that I was close to, and worse I've had a few friends killed in combat, one only a few feet from me and I had to retrieve his body.

You grow by having to perform and succeed while under hardship, not merely because you've been present for it. Tons of people fall off the deep end, and only get worse.

I guess I get the Cold Hearted Bastard award.
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:03 PM
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Like most things, the basis for this question can be found in nature. Look at a tree growing in the wild. If a tree grows, and experiences no wind whatsoever, it's roots will be weak and very close to the surface. The first moderate wind that comes along will cause it to topple over and rip right out of the ground.

Likewise, the tree which only faces hurricane force winds on a consistent basis will soon die from simply being overpowered.

However, the tree which faces storms and makes it through, and then has some calm periods to recover, will have strong roots which grow deeply into the soil.

People are the same way. Gardening isn't just good for filling your belly, sometimes it can also fill your mind as well!
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:31 PM
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I think a month long survival course should be mandatory for all kids to graduate high school, regardless of disabilities or phobias. None of this 3 day $hit; most kids I know could sleep right through that. A full 30 days/nights in the wilderness would force them to adapt and become self-sufficient.

A few of them would die, no doubt, but many more would "live".
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Truth View Post
"War is peace,
Freedom is slavery,
Ignorance is strength"

If I am a hard-working individual, why should I suffer hardship?
This is a communist idea, that suffering and hardship is virtuous.
While it may have been an idea embraced by the communists it is not a communist idea. There is a difference and it needs to be clear.

While you may be hard working, are you wasteful and weak? Could something be learned or could you gain strength, which would make you a more hardy person, from experiencing hardship?

If everyone had your mentality that just because they were "hard working" they were entitled to pamperment this world would go to hell very fast.

As for sufferning being "virtuous" I don't believe that is what is thought. I think "they" think that hardship teaches virtuosity which is different than the act itself being of virtue.
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Awesomeness View Post
Maybe everyone is different, but personally I in absolutely no way count losing friends and loved ones, or possessions, as hardship that I learned anything from or grew much as a person. I'm not saying it doesn't totally suck, but I don't feel like anything about me has improved because of it. I've lost family members that I was close to, and worse I've had a few friends killed in combat, one only a few feet from me and I had to retrieve his body.

You grow by having to perform and succeed while under hardship, not merely because you've been present for it. Tons of people fall off the deep end, and only get worse.

I guess I get the Cold Hearted Bastard award.

i used the term possessions because some folks are really hung up on all their doo dads and gadgets.... me personally. I have no problem with losing all that stuff...

The improvement is only something that you can gauge and determine... for some it is readily evident and for others it takes awhile to show itself....

but you are not a cold hearted bastard..... so I can't give you the trophy...
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:25 PM
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[QUOTE=Herbalpagan;1863074 I think, people should work hard and use disapline and save for what they have, not expect "instant" gratification, which is what we have now in society. That's not a real hardship, but it isn't what people are used to today. Doing things yourself isn't a hardship, but many are used to just hiring someone else to get something done.[/QUOTE]
**************************

I agree with this, 100%. I do NOT understand the mindset that causes anyone to think: "I work hard, so I should get to play hard and be a hyper-spender". That thinking just sets you up for disaster. You will have a house full of overpriced luxury items and no emergency savings fund. Just living from one paycheck to the next one. Any unexpected event, like job loss, major car repairs, etc. will bring your world crashing down on your head.

Re doing things for yourself.......I've always been very independent. I won't hire anyone to do things I know I am well able to do for myself.......I clean my own home, wash my car, cook my daily meals (no trips to fast food places or pizza delivery or frozen grocery store dinners, etc.)

For the most part, everyone I know thinks I am wierd, because of this. LOL
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Awesomeness View Post
Maybe everyone is different, but personally I in absolutely no way count losing friends and loved ones, or possessions, as hardship that I learned anything from or grew much as a person. I'm not saying it doesn't totally suck, but I don't feel like anything about me has improved because of it. I've lost family members that I was close to, and worse I've had a few friends killed in combat, one only a few feet from me and I had to retrieve his body.

You grow by having to perform and succeed while under hardship, not merely because you've been present for it. Tons of people fall off the deep end, and only get worse.

I guess I get the Cold Hearted Bastard award.
Nope. You don't get the Big B award. But, you do get the Realist Of The Day Award. (Grin).
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