Does adversity truly define somebody’s character? Adversity, as defined by Webster’s dictionary, is a state, condition, or instance of serious or continued difficulty or adverse fortune. Horace’s opinion on adversity is that without adversity in one’s life, their true character would not have an opportunity to develop.
Horace derived his opinion about adversity from having to overcome an obstacle of his own. Having lost the battle with the Roman Army, his prestigious life as a general and his “prosperous circumstances”, he faced with the true challenge to overcome this defeat. His true character was tested and created an opportunity to do what was needed to survive. I agree that through adversity, one’s true character shines above the mask that is shown during ones “prosperous circumstances”.
At the mere age of 16, I have overcome many situations in my life that showed me the truth to my character. The passing of my father is one example. At the time, my main concern was that the life me and my family lived would never be the same. Having lost not just a father-figure, a role model, and one of my closest friends at that age, my family lost the head of our household. I faced the challenge of caring for all the people around me who shared the same aching feeling of the loss I did, while at the same time trying to fill the void in my heart that was buried with him. Confronting the loss of so much in your life is not easy.
I remember one of the largest moments during this time that made me come to terms with his loss. The first few football practices of my 6th grade year were the hardest. The occasional glance to my mom watching us practice turned my enthusiastic and serious attitude toward practice into a grieving stare as I see my father missing from the picture.
I would never be able to keep playing like this. But I dug deep, and stayed dedicated to the sport that he supported me at, and with time and devotion I was able to understand that even though my father is not there physically, he will always be right there next to me on the field, cheering me on like he did in the past. Even though the physical aspect of my father is gone, I will always know that he is there with me, enjoying the best seat in the stadium.
Another situation in my life that I have had to overcome adversity is the injury in my left knee that I face today. The day I heard that I would not be able to play football my junior year, I did everything I could to distance myself from the game and my teammates. We all have those genuine fears of incidents that lead to where we cannot do hobbies or interests of ours. Imagine a graphic artist losing his hand along with his ability to draw, or a ballet dancer unable to perform in a recital because of a damaged knee. Every day is a battle.
The physical strength it takes to go through a day of physical therapy, the mental strength I use to push myself to be on the field again, and the spiritual strength it takes to remind myself that I am still part of this team. Like that Gatorade commercial, “One More” mean to me that I am one more day closer to reaching my goal of playing alongside my friends, one more set of exercises to strengthen my knee, and one more opportunity to play the game that I love.
I know ask myself, without adversity in my life, how would I know what type of person I am and what I value most? I wouldn’t. Had Horace not faced adversity, would his writing still be the same or at that even exist? Horace wouldn’t have needed to turn to poetry in order to save his life, but instead gone with his life as nothing but a mediocre general in the Greek Army, Instead of being the inspiring poet we know to this day.