XCIII. A Little Adversity Never Hurt Anyone -

“A little adversity never hurt anyone”, said no one ever.

No one may have vocalized the statement above, but certainly people have said that it takes hard work to get whatever it is you want.

Is hard work equivalent to adversity then?

Perhaps they are equivalent because adversity can be a calamity or distress caused by yours truly or someone else other than yourself.

Every people has been through adversity. Every ethnic group, minority, and/or other collective group of people have faced injustice.

Remember grade school days devoted to preparing for standardized exams? Now think back to that verbal reasoning prep. Remember generalizations, identified by key words such as “always”, “everyone”, etc.? Generalizations were the most obvious wrong answer choices.
As you grow older you come to realize how wrong generalizations fundamentally are. The negative connotation that generalizations possess, go hand-in-hand with the idea that no one can be perfect.

See, I just made a generalization when I said every people have been through adversity. However, l would argue that this generalization rings true. Even if I did feel that a group of people did not have to face any calamity collectively, a member of that group may speak to the contrary.

In that same vein, are we so cynical to criticize without being placed in the context that is the target of criticism?

Not long ago I read a Facebook update of someone experiencing something that was “to be expected” or was “no surprise.”
One, lose the attitude.
Two, do you have the authority to make a massive generalization about a country on the basis of something that may or may not have affected you?
Do you realize that you are contributing to a phenomenon that could adversely affect the people who are actually living in said context?

Here is a more concrete example: One evening, out for dinner, a fellow Sikh was criticizing India. I swallowed hard, let the person talk, and chose not to participate in the sorry excuse for a conversation.

The fact that the prime minister of India is a Sikh is no small feat. His image superimposed with his position is extremely helpful in so many regards. So what if he couldn’t pass this or that bill affecting his own Sikh or Punjabi community? He’s not a dictator. The country operates according to a democracy and therefore it is difficult to pass this or that according to the interests of some constituents, that may even include himself.

You cannot be that cynical. I cannot be that cynical.

I don’t think we are this cynical.

It may seem like we’re attempting to victimize ourselves.

More times than not, this is not the case. However, there are times when this is in fact the case. (Exhibit A for why generalizations hold no weight. Thank you elementary school teachers.)

Another example: I constantly tell my father in particular, about my peers from college, many of whom are rich and don’t think twice about spending God knows how much on a perfume-sized bottle of alcohol.

They attended ritzy private and international schools. I remember in freshman year, during biology lab, one of my peers, also from New York City, but who attended a private school in Westchester and spent his summers in his own Manhattan apartment, having said, “no matter what happens, I know I’ll be successful. I’ll be ok, I don’t have to worry about anything.”

That statement sounded so complex; so positive and yet so narcissistic.

I’m sorry, but am I the only one who does care about the consequences of failing this lab practical?

My father made me realize that my outlook of those children being unfairly handed everything was skewed. My dad is right. Sure I didn’t go to an international school, but I earned my way to one of the top high schools in New York City. I earned my way to an Ivy. I’m just as entitled and elitist as my peers. When I become a parent I most definitely would want my children to attend schools where boxer-bordered pants and metal detectors do not exist.

Honestly, I have always thought my life has been filled with luxuries and I still do believe that. We’re not rich by any means, but yes, I feel I like I have more than enough subsistence-wise. However, in my own trajectory of ambition, I am still very short from having all that I want to have professionally and as a result, fiscally.

I guess what I was trying to tell my father was that, in essence, a little adversity never hurt anyone. Or rather, a little adversity is necessary.

What happens when adversity is depended on so much that it characterizes the way people interact with you? What happens when this adversity is not as a construct of cynicism, like speaking for a country, but something that is personal? What happens when the individual’s adversity goes beyond the “necessary” so to speak?

Enter - The Sob Story that can have the alternate title of, “Lo! For I am a Victim.”

I thought a lot of us did not care for sob stories, but I most definitely cannot speak for more than myself where this is concerned after these past couple of months.

I’m actually shocked at how much praise and credence is given to a person who sheds a tear when asked a simple question.

Why do we have to turn something serious into a crying fest? There was and is no reason for that.

What I experienced some months ago was unnecessarily depressing.

To be serious or not sport a happy countenance does not mean you transport yourself, and everyone around you, to the river Styx.

You may say, well, this is his/her personal sentiment and who is anyone to judge?

I stand by what I say and if I could have recorded the sob story circle of tears and embedded the resulting video of what I had observed, I have no doubts that you will see the domino-effect that the sob story has, so much so that it has seeped into social media (ahem, Facebook.)

With that said, why do we have to keep living with a mandated dark cloud over our heads?

I’m the last person to sport a smile for no reason, but since when has adversity become something so common?

A little adversity never hurt anyone.

Still, it is time to stash those Costco cards away and stop going wholesale with the adversity.