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Adversity Does Make Us Stronger

Updated on April 12, 2015
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Dallas W Thompson was born in Bakersfield, California to "Grapes of Wrath" descendants. First born son of three siblings of a preacher

Adversity: "What Does Not Destroy Me, Makes Me Stronger."

A dynamic process that individuals exhibit positive behavioral adaptation when they encounter significant adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant sources of stress.
A dynamic process that individuals exhibit positive behavioral adaptation when they encounter significant adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant sources of stress.
Resiliency refers to your ability to quickly recover from change or misfortune. It is buoyancy and an ability to "bounce back." Human beings have a naturally resilient nature but it must be nurtured or it will be lost.
Resiliency refers to your ability to quickly recover from change or misfortune. It is buoyancy and an ability to "bounce back." Human beings have a naturally resilient nature but it must be nurtured or it will be lost.
"Resilience" in psychology is the positive capacity of people to cope with stress and adversity. This coping may result in the individual bouncing back.
"Resilience" in psychology is the positive capacity of people to cope with stress and adversity. This coping may result in the individual bouncing back.
Adapt quickly: mentally and emotionally flexible. Comfortable with contradictory qualities.
Adapt quickly: mentally and emotionally flexible. Comfortable with contradictory qualities.

A Little Adversity Does Make Us Stronger

Resiliency

The German Philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche is famous for his quote, “What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.” Given this, paradigm, the most commonly used term resilience has come to mean an individual's ability to overcome adversity and continue his or her normal development.

A recent study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found most people who had experienced a few events in their lives reported better mental health and well-being than people with a history of frequent adversity and people with no history of misfortune. This study focused on potential benefits of exposure to some adversity relative to no adversity.

This study shows that, under the right conditions, experiencing some adversity may foster resilience.

Dr. Michael Ungar, has suggested that resilience is better understood as follows: "In the context of exposure to significant adversity, resilience is both the capacity of individuals to navigate their way to the psychological, social, cultural, and physical resources that sustain their well-being, and their capacity individually and collectively to negotiate for these resources to be provided in culturally meaningful ways."

Adversity can help people develop a psychological immune system to help them cope with advertisities, while those with no experience of life’s slings and arrows, may have a hard time dealing with rough times. Too much adversity can create a feeling of hopelessness and loss of control.

Dr. Seery in the above mentioned study, says people who have experienced around two to four adverse events in their life-times appeared to be the best off.

Family and Social Network Key Components to Resiliency

Ann Masten, an expert in resilience, says that even if people are capable of adapting to adversity, it is still important to have community and social networks in place to help deal with the aftermath of adverse events. She says, “We do have enormous capacity for resilience, but that doesn’t mean horrible experiences are good for you.” The key is to utilize your resources of protective systems and know how to mobilize them when they are not present. Family and friends are a key component in developing resiliency.

The beginnings of my new book, “Yes Mother I do Remember,” http://hubpages.com/hub/Yes-Mom-I-do-Remember there is a given resiliency in my mother’s family that has provided a legacy for me to build on. The importance of family cannot be stressed enough in coping with adversity.

My Hereitage: Resiliency

My mother’s family had little financial resources. They traded a cow for a car to leave Wainright , Arkansas. Despite the constant breakdowns, they had each other to rely and made it to California. California was the land of dreams. The adversities they faced united them in their common goals.

Now, the survivors are successful both in terms of owning “things” and their children that share in their own success as community leaders, and productive citizens.

For "REAL LIFE" examples of "resiliency," see up close and personal my mother's family struggles for survival and how they thrived during and after the great depression:

More Life Exploration Where I Did it, Rather Than Wishing I had Done it!

http://hubpages.com/hub/Sacramento-River-July-4th-Weekend-on-a-Raft-To-San-Francisco

http://hubpages.com/hub/I-slept-with-Electric-Eels

http://hubpages.com/hub/Why-the-fall-of-the-Berlin-Wall-had-an-Affect-on-Me

http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-sail-free-from-Fiji-to-Sydney

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    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Rachel,

      Thanks! if the experience does not kill us, it will make us stronger!

    • profile image

      rachel 

      6 years ago

      It is very true.Thanks hub

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      gmwilliams,

      Life us a process... then you die!

      Thanks for your comments.

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      6 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      This is such an excellent hub. You have presented many valid points.

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      agvulpes, My parents and relatives were in that movie. Not as "extras," but they lived in "Weedpatch." See:

      https://hubpages.com/literature/Yes-Mom-I-do-Remem

      A willow trees lives to see another day.

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 

      7 years ago from Australia

      I like the words of that old song 'pick yourself up, dust yourself down, start all over again'

      Your preference to being a willow would also be my own choice:-)

      Your Hub reminded me of that old movie which I have only just revisited called 'Grapes of Wrath', now that is what I call 'adversity' plus.

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      LillyGrant, As a former educator, I learned you learn as you share.... I want to make "different mistakes" everyday and expect different results because I did it differently.

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 

      7 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      This is so very true! Thank you for sharing this hard won wisdom with your Readers and Fans. The Best to you and Yourn.

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      MyMastiffPuppies, Life is defined by how we react to common adversities... It defines who we are. Thanks!

    • MyMastiffPuppies profile image

      MyMastiffPuppies 

      7 years ago

      Awesome hub! I tell my children this very thing all the time. "What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger." It can be hard to realize at the very moment of whatever adversity you are facing, but staying focused, you will get through it and be better for it. Thanks for sharing! Voted up...

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      CMHypno, You got it: balance. The challenge is to obtain a dynamic balance. It is a moving target...

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 

      7 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Interesting thoughts on adversity dallas, like everything in life it seems to be down to balance - too little adversity not good and too much not good

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      MPG Narratives, Of course there must be a dynamic "balance" in one's life... A series of adversities can present an over whelming challenge... Thanks for sharing.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 

      7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      There's a saying, 'For every time you cry, you will laugh' and this can be true but when you are crying it is sometimes hard to see when you will laugh. You are right dallas, adversity does make us stronger and a good family around you will always help. Voted up.

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Nell Rose, I too have experienced "unpleasant" things that most of the times I was responsible for the outcomes.. I am a hard head and I have learned from the life process of not repeating the same mistakes.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, This is very true. in the 90s I had one horrible thing after another happen, and at the time I seemed to be sinking badly, but looking back I am amazed at how I coped with it all, thanks nell

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Darlene Sabella, Thanks! Your strength is knowing who/what your are... and your utilization of your "strong foundation and a good family and friends."

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Now this is a fantastic hub, it touches us all in every area of our lives. Some how I amaze myself that I am still standing here, the storms have passed and then it is time rebuild before another storm should it, the secret is a strong foundation and a good family and friends. Thumbs up

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      ACSutliff, My academia is showing... Way too much time spent studying how to work for other people... Too many degrees... This hubs reflects on many levels my life. Resiliency determines the "winners," as defined as one who achieves their goals...

    • ACSutliff profile image

      ACSutliff 

      7 years ago

      Dallas, your writing is amazing and thought provoking. I enjoy the tie-ins to your other hubs, and the fact that you appear to have some personal experience with adversity, but you chose to write an informative hub with reputable sources to back you up. Great idea, and great writing! Enjoyed the pictures and the sayings too, that was a great way to hook the reader.

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      MartieCoetser, If I had a choice in terms of adversities: I would want to be a willow tree rather than a hug redwood tree. I would want to learn to give and sway with the "wind," rather than resist and stand immobile...

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      dahoglund, ..."It takes a village..." Family and friends makes a BIG difference to negotiate/mitigate the adversities in one's life....

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      This is so true! Adversities are merely emotional exercises – to make us fit and able to cope for many years with life in all its phases. Great hub!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I agree with the need for a social network and resiliency

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      prasetio30, Your wisdom is beyond your age... Thanks for stopping by...

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Another great hub from you. I learn from word by word you gave to us. Very inspiring hub. Thank you very much.

    • dallas93444 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Fiddleman, Thanks!

    • profile image

      Fiddleman 

      7 years ago

      Great hub and I think you just might be right.

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