We love a good story. A feel-good story, a come-back story, a love story. Many are revered for their triumph over struggle. People have a funny fascination with pain and struggle. We like to see self-made people; people who beat the odds, walked through the fire, unscathed.
It is those people who get our attention and our respect. They make the best teachers, preachers, and story-tellers. We revere them because they are uncommon, unique, and unconventional.
It isn’t the strength in a person that captivates us but the struggle and the humility required to expose it. It seems that there is a monotony where struggle is missing. It doesn’t build character. It doesn’t inspire. In the vacancy of struggle, growth cannot truly happen.
Those who struggle learn of things others cannot. So, when we lean in to hear the stories of triumph for the unlikely, we are puzzled—taken, even. Because we all know, there’s a lesson in the pain. These people are beautiful to us because they have known something more: defeat, suffering, struggle, loss. And we innately know that these experiences allow for depth and breadth in the soul.
So, can one by-pass the pain and still receive the lesson? Struggle is strength, this we know. But as a people, we tend to resist the struggle because we fail to see the strength on the other side. We all love a good story: a story with substance. But we must be willing to accept the struggle if we want that story for ourselves.