Some days it is hard not to think of Carrie Bradshaw, in an opening narrative for Sex and the City, as she poses her infamous question to the entire universe while her delicate hands tap dance across her keyboard, “Do people really need to go through painful experiences in order for personal growth to occur?”
I have thought about this a great deal as of late, as I watch friends and family come to terms with various stressful life situations, and I have to say, that maybe, just maybe the person that coined the phrase, “That which doesn’t kill, only makes you stronger” died prematurely! I mean really, think about it. We, as a people, are at our best when we are happy, therefore so are our friends and family. Sure, the songwriters run out of material quick but the rest of us, we manage. We keep our heart rate lower, we breathe deeper, we smile more, frown less, and BEST of all, our friends and family actually enjoy being around us.
If I feel that I am lacking pain in order to aid in my understanding of such tragic life events, I need only go to the movie theatre to get my fill of empathetic sad. Most of us are actually capable of this phenomenon; of placing yourself in the shoes of the person on the screen, and giving a bit of thought to their situation. Problem solved.
The moral of the story is that we may think that we are growing as a person by continuing to stick it out in untoward situations, but the reality of it is, we can learn just as much from reading a book or going to the movies. Cheaper, friendlier, faster….and then, we can still sleep at night!