Does Adversity Determine Who You Are?

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Most people go through life taking the easy way out. Rarely does anyone want to go the extra mile, the extra yard, or even the extra step. People want ease over adversity, but ease does not challenge us to discover who we really are. Adversity is what challenges us to make the hard decisions that ultimately determine who we are.

In order to find that adversity determines who we are, all we have to do is look at Oscar Schindler. Schindler was a member of the Nazi party during the Holocaust who was a successful businessman, and hadn’t ever been challenged to make a decision about life and death. This all changed when, one night, he saw Jewish people being murdered and put into concentration camps. At this point he was met with adversity. Should he help the innocent Jews or stay away from all the madness to keep himself safe? He decided to go with the latter which truly determined who he was; a man who valued the life of an innocent person over anything else. By sacrificing his business and his money, Schindler was able to save countless lives, and be remembered as a positive face in the midst of a great tragedy.

The character Tom from the Grapes of Wrath also explains how adversity determines who we are. At the beginning of the novel, Tom is someone who is selfish and does now want to think about the future. He only wants to live in the present and go by things day by day. Tom has to go west with his family to get a better life. As he progresses on his journey west with his family, though, his views change due to adversity. The settlers out west take advantages of family like Tom and make them work for very little pay. Furthermore, the settlers attack anyone who speaks out against them, and burn down many of the migrant’s makeshift homes. Through seeing all this Tom changes his views completely and becomes someone who wants to fight for the people and save them from being treated so inhumanely. Through adversity, Tom is able to decide that he wants to be...
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