Some believe that individuals are products of their environment, that thought processes and morals are instilled as a product of our circumstances. Others believe that we can shape and choose who we are. Since birth, I have had to face adversity and learn from various struggles in my life. I was born with cerebral palsy and am an amputee, so from early on in life, I had a lot to confront. Life threw me many curve balls, so I had to learn how to cope with challenges earlier than most. Thanks to me struggles, I have developed my own way of handling things without the abilities or resources others may have.
One struggle I commonly deal with is that the minute someone notices or mentions my disability, they automatically apologize to me for having it. I have heard “I’m sorry” countless time and most likely will continue to for the rest of my life. However, I am OK with their response and always tell them, “I am not sorry because I could have it much worse.” I think of those who don’t have fresh drinking water or those who have lost a loved one. I think of those who are far away from their homelands with no idea of when they can return. I think of wounded soldiers, people with terminal illnesses, abused animals,and victims of sex trafficking and human trafficking. The list of those I am more fortunate than is vast.
I think that people are quick to apologize when they learning that I have a disability because they automatically think of the hardships I’ve endured. My life is nothing to feel sorry for, though. I simply embrace my struggles because for me, that is simply the best option.
Many of us view life struggles as a bad thing, something that will permanently hold them back. If we all embrace our struggles, using them as moments to learn, develop, and build character, though, we can remain more positive. As time goes on, our challenges may lessen or our perceptions may change. Even though changing how you approach adversity may be difficult at first, it is well worth your time in the end.