Man’s life is full of vicissitudes and misfortunes. All progress implies pain. Our bodily growth involves pain, and it is through painful struggles that our character is strengthened. Losses in trade make us prudent, physical ailments teach us to be careful, and force us to adopt proper remedies.
Life is full of changes. Misfortunes are irresistible, but the attitude of mind, with which we face them, makes all the difference. To the foolish, they are nothing, but evil and painful, but to the wise, they afford opportunities for further progress and betterment of their condition.
“Sweet are the uses of adversity”. Possession of endless wealth has not conduced to the happiness of men, hut, on the other hand, has let to great misery and wretchedness. Some of the greatest and most successful men in the world have been poor. They had to face serious difficulties, but as they passed through these ordeals, they gained in strength and courage.
One great use of adversity is that it serves as a test of friendship. Prosperity makes friends, but adversity tries them. Rich. men have plenty of friends, but they are not true. They love rich peoples money more than their friends, and as soon as they find that they have nothing new to gain, they leave them. Adversity draws true friends closer together. It tells us who are really our friends and who are not.
Gold is tested in fire. True manliness is tested in adversity. “The darker the night, the brighter the stars.” A violent wind will not last long. “The darkest day, live till to-morrow will have passed away.” We must. therefore. be brave and hopeful under misfortunes, always looking forward with patience and faith. We should not be easily discouraged. We should never give way to despair. The worst troubles are those which we make for ourselves.
Misfortunes are sometimes blessings in disguise. The darkest cloud has a silver lining. The proper spirit with which to meet misfortune is this.
Yet I argue not,
Against Heaven’s hand or will, or bate a jot
Of heart or hope but still bear up and steer
We must not, therefore, repine or grumble when in misfortune, as these idle regrets are unmanly. but must courageously face, and try to overcome all troubles. We should .endeavour to
Know how sublime a thing it is
To suffer and he strong.