You’ve probably heard that old chestnut “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
I’ve been thinking about that lately, in the context of my 2011 goals. We can aspire to a perfect year free of pain and suffering, but it’s pretty unlikely.
And in the long run, that kind of year might not be in our best interest. It’s often life’s challenges that teach us powerful lessons or push us to change. I think of it a little like emotional exercise: the way you get stronger at the gym is to exert yourself, and probably feel a little sore in the morning.
Al Swearengen has a similar philosophy.
Here’s the saloon operator/ proto-mob boss in the genius HBO series Deadwood giving his version of a pep talk to newspaper publisher AW Merrick. Merrick’s just had his office trashed by people who would prefer he not put out his newspaper.
Al tells Merrick that life’s suffering doesn’t end until you die. “Stand it like a man — and give some back.”
Watch for yourself — but be warned that the brilliant writing in this show is littered with F-bombs.