What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?

Against the elements

Well, does it?

A literal interpretation:

Yesterday I was watching an Oprah interview with a Connecticut doctor whose wife and daughters in 2007 had been murdered and their house burned down. It was the most tragic story. My heart ached and tears flowed. Such a heinous crime – evil and incomprehensible.

Looking at and listening to the surviving victim – for he too was left for dead at the scene – I questioned whether he considers himself stronger. He admitted that there were times the memories of the tragic event, the grief, the pain and loneliness were so hard to bear that he considered taking his own life. It was only his religious beliefs that stopped him doing so – he was afraid that in taking his own life he might not meet his loved ones in the afterlife.

I hope this doesn’t sound flippant, I certainly don’t mean it to … but … I doubt that he would even want to be thought of as stronger.

Then there’s the metaphoric interpretation:

The times when we have to do something we’d prefer not to do. I remembered my mother holding the teaspoon full of foul tasting medicine to my firmly closed lips. There was no way I was going to open them for that disgusting brew!

“Come on now, open wide, it’s not going to kill you. It’s going to make you better, make you stronger.”

Yeah right! I can still smell the pungent odour of the medicine prescribed for dealing to worms. We didn’t even have them – it was a preventative measure only. The smell (and taste) was so revolting that it made me wretch – I’d recognise it anywhere.

This morning as I set off into town for an interview with a recruitment company, the words came to mind again. What doesn’t kill me … well it’s not only making me stronger, I’m also becoming more practiced, more eloquent, more comfortable and more confident.

My techniques are improving – I use the plural because every situation demands a different approach. I’ve got to the point where I actually enjoy them.

This is all good – maybe I have become stronger.


One thought on “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?

  1. Team Oyeniyi

    Like you, I’m too sure about that phrase either. Years ago a psychologist said to me that we are like stone – enough dripping water over time and we wear away.

    I wasn’t consulting him as a client, we both worked for the same organisation and it was just a discussion over coffee one morning. It has stuck with me though.

    Perhaps there is a bit of both in life.


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