Struggle Makes Us Strong - Lifeboats and Butterflies
If I was in a lifeboat, and I had to pick one person to take on, I wouldn’t want someone who’s coasted through life, happy and content, with no significant difficulties. I’d want someone who’s been to hell and back and is still standing. I’d want someone who’s made terrible choices, taken risks, been to dark places, and lived fearlessly to a fault. Someone who’s been forced to cultivate - like a muscle - the spirit and creativity and determination to survive. Someone who’s fought and struggled, learned and grown, and who’s had to change. Someone like me.
There are many versions of this metaphor about struggle and growth. Here's one:
A little boy found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole. Then it stopped, as if it couldn't go further.
So the boy decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily but it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.
The boy continued to watch it, expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge and expand enough to support the body, but nothing happened.
The boy didn’t understand that the struggle to break out of the cocoon was necessary. The struggle would force the fluid from the butterfly’s body to its wings, strengthening them so that it could fly.
Sometimes struggles are necessary. Going through life with no challenges would cripple us.
“Ad Astra Per Aspera” (Latin for “To the stars through hardship”)