Do suffering and struggle make us stronger and lead to success? Why or why not?

Struggle and suffering seem like two different things here, so let me take them apart. Suffering is what happens to you and sometimes there are terrible things that happen that don’t make us stronger at all. I think we accept this on a physical level. When we contract a disease that slows us down we don’t imagine that we are somehow stronger. Same with emotional suffering or economic and other kinds of things that happen to us that we can’t control. And of course — wait for it — our responses to these situations become our struggle and, yes, when we struggle to continue to find happiness and meaning and our truth no matter what we are suffering, we become stronger. I just worry, though, that what we consider strength is just getting used to a less satisfying, a less successful life. The response to the corona virus shows how much we are willing to adjust and keep readjusting with less and less.

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