Thursday, April 26, 2018

Accept and Embrace Adversity and Pain


Accept and Embrace Adversity and Pain

“Pain is a more terrible lord of mankind than even death itself, and awakens us to a courage and faith unrealized before.” Dr. Albert Schweitzer

Adversity is part and parcel of life. Adversity comes in different phases of life; it only becomes more intense and challenging as aging continues, causing more unhappiness. Adversity is like rites of passage, which come in three stages: the separation stage in which you feel separated from your comfort zone; the confusion stage in which you find yourself in no-man’s-land, at a loss of not knowing what to do next; and the transformation stage, in which you may initiate the life changes to cope with the adversity.

Unfortunately, in life, we all have to confront our own adversity and pain that may come in many different forms. Whether we like it or not, we need to accept and embrace our adversity and pain, and learn valuable lessons from them; paradoxically, they may tell us a meaning.

Look at the following story:

Magda Newman was in labor for 17 hours before giving birth to her first child. Magda and her husband Russel Newman were both shocked and devastated when they found that their son had the rare craniofacial disorder, known as Treacher Collins: he had no cheekbones, no upper and lower eyelids—he was completely disfigured, looking like a monster, instead of a beautiful baby.  Treacher Collins is an extremely rare congenital craniofacial disorder that affects an estimated 1 in 50,000 people in the United States

Most parents have abandoned their newborns afflicted with Treacher Collins. When the Newmans heard the song “Beautiful” sung by Christina Aguilera, the lyrics in the song became a beacon of hope and inspiration for Magda and Russel, and they immediately decided to keep and raise their disfigured son, whom they named “Nathaniel.” His mother said: “We decided he’s going to be beautiful not because of his appearance, but because of his personality. He’s going to be a beautiful person.”

Nathaniel Newman had to undergo many surgeries, not to fix his already disfigured face, but to make him a normal and healthy being; by the time he was 11 years old, Nathaniel had been through 54 surgeries.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

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