We all know people who know what they are about. They have clarity about that for which they strive. They focus on the essentials, and are not easily distracted. They understand the bigger picture, and their place in it.
These folks demonstrate considerable strength, firm adherence to their principles, and they usually are of service or value to others. A surprising fact applies to each of them: they all started out as soft little babies.
We have been privileged to know people who fit this description, and to read the biographies of others. The same pattern exists in people in every walk of life. In learning their stories, we often find considerable adversity or seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their past.
We’re reminded of clay, and pottery. Clay is soft and malleable, fine particles that are quite porous. Pottery is durable, impermeable, fused into a single item—not a mix of soft particles.
More than ten thousand years ago, humans were creating pottery from clay on at least four continents. We learned a long time ago that heating a clay vessel in a hot enough kiln for a long enough time transforms it into pottery.
The heat of the kiln changes the properties of soft clay. Particles fuse together. The chemistry changes. What emerges from the kiln is fully formed, durable and useful.
Perhaps adversity is a kiln that produces change within us.
We would never suggest that problems or misery are good. One cannot know the depths of heartache or pain that another is forced to bear. The point is, much of what happens, happens. It is beyond our control.
We may be able to influence our own reaction, how we choose to spend our energy and our minutes in the face of adversity. Just as we cannot know what others must bear, we are not qualified to judge how others respond. But for each of us, with our own challenges, there may be some choice.
Please call or write if you would like perspective or help on your own situation or circumstances.