The uses of adversity are really sweet and blessed. Outwardly adversity is as ugly and venomous as toad, but inwardly it is as precious as a jewel. It pays in the long run. It is a blessing in disguise. It may appear to be throwing cold water on the plans of an earnest worker but ultimately it is discovered to have acted as a great stimulant.
Almost all great men were born and bred in the school of adversity. Tagore wanted students to lead a life of voluntary poverty so that they might have better chances of becoming great. Adversity is the diamond dust heaven polished its jewels with.
It shapes men better than anything else:
Adversity shapes men better than any thing else. It brings out the best of them. It reveals to them their innate virtues. It makes them aware of their real friends, gives them self-knowledge and self-confidence. Prosperity makes people passive. Adversity makes people active. It tests a man’s self-confidence, fortitude and patience. It elicits talents which remains dormant in prosperity. Gandhi might not have attained his full stature had the British not maltreated him in Africa.
Jawahar Lal Nehru might not have become what he became if the British had not massacred thousands of Indians in 1919. It is only the test of adversity which proves one’s heroic qualities. It not only test our qualities, but also polishes them. One should be an optimist. Adversity is not for ever. It lasts for a short time. One should face it with confidence. Shelley was perfectly right when he said, “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”
It teaches us humility:
Adversity teaches us the great lesson of humanity. It enables us to sympathise with the oppressed humanity. It give us the ideal of wiping every tear from every eye. It prepares us to literate the enslaved humanity. It makes us break the bond of orthodoxy, superstition and social tyranny.
On the other hand prosperity makes us conceited and vain. It makes us look down upon the man in the street. It makes us narrow-minded and selfish. Only those who have lived in adversity realise the position of others in adverse circumstances. Adversity brings man closer to man. It frees him from snobbery and vanity. It makes him more humane. It makes him really cultured and polite.
It gives self-knowledge and self-confidence:
Adversity is a boon to the artist. It stimulates his artistic qualities. Great tragedies were produced by men who suffered from adversity. Surdas, Milton and Homer were blind poets but they wrote immortal verses. Shakespeare is an immortal writer because he gave us his tragedies. Prosperity produces comedies. Literary critics all over the world are at one in declaring that tragedies are always on a higher level than comedies. Adversity produces tragedies. It also sharpens a man’s intelligence and widens his sympathies. It makes a man farsighted.
It opens our eyes on reality:
Adversity saves us from false notions, it is an eye-opener. It brings us to the matter-of-fact world. It relieves us of our idle dreams and idealistic fancies. It makes us earthly beings. It saves us from high ambitions which would never be fulfilled.
It takes us nearer to God:
Adversity take; us nearer to God. In moments of hardship man folds his hands and prays to God, In moments of prosperity one forgets God. One forgets too the transitoriness of joys and pleasures. The narrowing lust of gold blinds our vision. It makes shut our eyes one very thing spiritual. It makes us conscious of only material possession.
Genuine morality is preserved only in the school of adversity. It may be a still teacher but its lessons are unforgettable. Shakespeare is right when he says, “Sweet are the uses of adversity.”
It is well said that prosperity multiplies friends and adversity tries them. In this way adversity is a touchstone to judge true friendship. To conclude adversity has more uses than abuses.