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Now for the Bad News…or is that Good News?

07 Feb

Now for the Bad News…or is that Good News?

What about the possibility that bad news is good news, that disadvantage is actually advantage and that discrimination is in fact opportunity.  I don’t know if I am right, it’s just that I have come to the conclusion that the wonderful results I am realizing in my life are because of past challenges I faced.  In fact, past challenges seem to be the seeds that were planted that yielded my future success.  I find so many areas when I look back where I believed I was disadvantaged, but now accept those struggles as the foundation for my strength today.

For example, my Dad left when I was 7 years old, as a result, Mom moved us from California to the South side of Chicago where she got a job from her stepfather as manager of a corner bar in a Polish, Lithuanian neighborhood.   I lived in the back of a bar with my brother and sister.  After eventually leaving the bar, we just went from small house to smaller house, Mom worked job to job and paycheck to paycheck.

As I grew older I ultimately looked back and believed my family got a raw deal.  I mean, we didn’t have a dime and times were really tough for my Mother.  M y brother and sister and I did our best to stay out of trouble so we didn’t increase the difficulty my Mother faced day to day.   For many years I held a chip on my shoulder, angry at the world for delivering my family a tough life.   Only until my later years did I find the ultimate value of those challenging times.  When I took my wife back to the bar in Chicago and showed her what my life at that time was like, I thought she would sympathize with me….she didn’t.  When we walked out of the bar and she said aren’t you glad you came back to see the old bar, I said yes, but most importantly I told her I was glad she saw how I lived and could now understand why I had such a chip on my shoulder.   I wanted her to tell me I was right to be angry.  Instead she said; “boy were you ever lucky, look at how you lived….music from the jute-box every night, a warm bed to sleep in, protection by your mom and the neighborhood”, she said; “the bar is where you got your power and strength”…..you were a lucky guy.”  I couldn’t believe it, but after letting her remarks land, I realized that the reason I am living the fortunate life I am is because of the gift of adversity.

Today I understand that my determination to make things happen came from the foundational strength I gained from every difficulty, every hard time, every fear and tear my family faced.

What do you think; do you believe that hardship is in fact disguised opportunity?  Is it possible that when the gift of difficulty is given that those who become self-proclaimed victims actually get less in life?  That by interpreting difficulty as difficulty they end up propagating a lower life standard?  Is it possible that if they were to spin it in such a way that the challenges, discrimination, hardship, etc. are in fact gifts of future power and life success?  Is that what’s really going on in life?  Is that what’s holding people back from all that they really dream of?

Like I said, I don’t know if what I am saying makes sense; it’s just that my new interpretation of my past life seems to be providing me with health, happiness and achievement.

Dave Hibbard

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