Strength from Adversity
What is character? Simply put, it is the very essence of our being. It is who we are besides our achievements, grades, and athletic ability; and it is the qualities that people will remember about us when our accomplishments have long passed us.
How do we develop character? Helen Keller once said, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” When we experience disappointing or difficult circumstances, our true qualities are i revealed. Who are we when life’s storms overtake us? When we have failed to reach a goal we have worked hard for, been hurt by others, or lost a loved one? In these circumstances, we have two options: we can either give up and be immobilized by our failures and situations, or we can rise up and choose to push forward. We all have a powerful weapon within us: the ability to choose and accept challenges, and to draw strength from adversity. Building character is a continual process; it is knowing the right thing to do and choosing to do it every day.
I like to think of it as climbing up a hill – it takes time, effort, and it isn’t always easy. Character cannot be taught but only modeled through example. As we continue from here, let us be examples of perseverance, dedication, and determination. Let us be honest even when we know we might lose or experience a negative outcome. Let us be faithful to our own beliefs and not let peer pressure compromise them.
As we look into the unknown that lies before us, let us face the future with boldness and courage. And we aren’t perfect – there will be falling, stumbling, and backsliding. We are human, and we will make mistakes. But let us continue to set goals of excellence and ultimately set a lasting legacy for the next generation of students.