No. 891



Have you ever faced any real adversity in your life? If you have, then I invite you to come along with me as I share some thoughts that may help you in some way, and may even help you gain perspective.
First, let’s make sure we are speaking the same language. The dictionary says that adversity is “A condition of hardship or affliction.” At this point it might help if I rephrase that first question. Have you ever, or are you now, facing some type of hardship? We also need to understand that hardship is really a condition that is brought about because of circumstances, while affliction has more to do with a condition that affects the body or the mind. For example, a person is afflicted with a disease or handicap of some kind, and it usually is brought about through no fault of his or her own.
Now, allow me to give you some examples of hardship. Some time back we had a once-in-a-century hurricane named Sandy that hit the entire Northeastern part of our country, involving about 20 states. Most of us in other parts of the country, including yours truly, were deeply saddened by the plight of millions of our fellow citizens who were without power, food, water, heat and other bare essentials for weeks on end. Worse still were thousands of others who had the complete loss of their homes and other possessions that took them a lifetime to accumulate. These people were suffering a severe hardship through no fault of their own. It was created by a natural disaster.
One thing this hurricane did that will impact future generations is that it exposed the lack of preparation and planning of local power companies and other government agencies that were ill equipped to deal with the problems the storm created. History is replete with other examples of natural disasters that caused widespread hardship for people who were simply victims who had nothing to do with the hardships they faced.
Apart from this are other hardships that we bring on ourselves. This is where I want to spend the remainder of our space, because these are hardships that we can do something about. It is not that we have hardships, because we all have those, it is how we deal with them that makes the difference. There is a sad ending for many people in our nation today who can’t deal with their own created hardships. Here is an example of what I am saying. A friend called me the other day to tell me about a 29-year-old man who had just committed suicide. His mounting debts and drug addiction had brought him to a place in his mind where he could see no way out. Sadly, this happens far too often in our country, as more than 33,000 people in America each year choose to end their life in this way.
If any of you, dear readers, are going through the fire of adversity because of choices and actions you have made, just realize that you are not alone. We all have adversity in our lives. Next, we can never be defeated if we take the long-range view. We should look to the future with hope and optimism and associate with positive people who will encourage us. We should also read positive books that serve to build us up and encourage us, along with offering a plan to turn our lives around and head in the right direction.
And here is what works best for me when I face a hardship. My deep faith in God and just knowing that He loves me puts a spring in my step and a smile on my face that gives me to courage to fight another day.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)