Adversity causes people to act differently. Some may choose to concede and run away from their problems. Others may try to fight and overcome the obstacle in front of them. According to the poet Horace, adversity will cause a person to reveal their true colours. However, there are also cases where adversity will impede one’s actions. I believe that adversity can cause one to rise to the occasion, but also can lead to one’s downfall.
We can look at famous handicapped individuals and the struggle they got through to reach success. Terry Fox is an example of a person who faced adversity and achieved something amazing. Terry Fox was diagnosed with bone cancer and eventually had his leg amputated and replaced by a prosthetic leg. By refusing to give in to his cancer, Terry Fox was able to raise millions of dollars to support cancer research and prevent cancer cases like his own. Another prime example is Helen Keller. Helen Keller was blind and deaf, so it would seem like her life was a mess. However, Helen Keller didn’t want to give up, and she overcame many obstacles, and became the first blind and deaf person to obtain a bachelors of arts degree. Without the illnesses that Terry Fox and Helen Keller contracted, they wouldn’t have had an incentive to do what they did, thus they wouldn’t be able to reach such heights.
While adversity can indeed help people discover themselves, there are times when adversity won’t. During the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, the protestors had to face a huge obstacle: the Chinese government. The protests were led by students and were increasingly popular for a while before 1989. To stop the protests, the Chinese government decided to use force. They had hundreds of thousands of troops and a number of tanks across areas of Beijing, arresting protestors and in some cases, protestors were killed in the process, however the Chinese government claims there were no deaths. The “failed” protests and “massacre” of Tiananmen Square, depict that in some cases, adversity can be a slippery slope to failure.
After looking at both sides of the argument, the conclusion is that Horace’s statement sometimes holds true. While it is true that adversity influence people to do great things, we can also see how adversity can inhibit one’s ability to create change. Thus, I believe that adversity can indeed reveal one’s true abilities, but copious and extreme amounts of adversity can have the opposite effect and prevent the discovery of dormant abilities.