Strength of Character in No Rainbows, No Roses
Every man is born with either a silver spoon in his mouth or a shovel in his hand. If the former is the case, that individual can look forward to a life of relative ease and privilege. If it is the latter, however, the person had best prepare himself to dig through the pile of misfortune life is going to heap upon him. This is the balance of life--that for every man born under a shining sun, there is at least one born under ominous gray thunderclouds. Those individuals who have a natural inclination towards hard times do have a certain advantage, however, over those who always seem to have it easy. True adversity gives birth to a strength of character that those who avoid it can never hope to attain, understand, or even recognize.
The most beautiful aspect of this strength of character is that it enables the precious few who possess it to look beyond the hazy curtain of their suffering and reach out to those around them, touching them with something that cannot be defined and will not be forgotten. Perhaps the reason that bad things always seem to happen to good people is that without a foundation of "goodness," this strength of character could not exist and all suffering would be in vain.
This stirring strength can be seen in Beverly Dipo's essay, "No Rainbows, No Roses." Dipo, a nurse, relates her experience of being touched by the strength of a dying woman. This woman, Mrs. Trane, was at the end of her long battle with cancer. Dipo had never seen Mrs. Trane before, but when she entered her patient's room, all her previous medical experience told her she was about to witness Mrs. Trane's last night. Gathering the sterile comfort of this medical knowledge around her, Dipo began her usual ministrations, trying to make her patient as comfortable as possible. Touched by the weakness and fragility of her patient, Dipo pulled a chair up and sat by Mrs. Trane's side. She was bothered by the...
Cited: Dipo, Beverly. "No Rainbows, No Roses." The Norton Sampler: Short Essays for Composition. 5th ed. Ed. Thomas Cooley. New York: Norton, 1997. 277-279.
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