Growing up I remember Smokey the Bear, the iconic figure used by the Forestry Dept with the motto “Only you can prevent forest fires.”
The campaign was successful, the number of fires went way down. The forest grew tall without having to deal with those nasty fires.
All was well until the inevitable fire finally occurred. It burned with ferocious intensity causing much severe destruction of the forest. More fires occurred, with the same devastating effect. The foresters were stunned. What happened? Why were the fires so much more destructive?
What they learned was they had been too successful, that the forest needed the fires. The early fires were small, and cleaned out the underbrush on the forest floor. It got rid of the weak and stifling vegetation making room for new growth.
But, when the underbrush was allowed to accumulate, it built up more fuel for the fires, allowing them to burn hotter and higher. The foresters had unwittingly created a greater enemy for the very forest they were trying to save.
The lesson was that the little fires, the little adversities, that the forest experienced before made them stronger.
Man is the same way. By facing adversities, it allows him to grow and become stronger. Like with the forest, lack of adversity (fire) creates a false since of security leaving him unprepared and incapable of handling the even greater challenges that will come.
While facing adversity is unpleasant and difficult, it is a vital element to growth. It allows you to clear out your underbrush so you can grow taller and stronger. When adversity comes, welcome it, master it. You will be all the stronger for it.
What do you think?