Fandango’s Provocative Question #20

FPQEach week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration. By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

This week’s provocative question occurred to me when I heard Kelly Clarkson’s song, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” on my car radio.

That Kelly Clarkson song leverages something that was originally attributed to the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, who said, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”

Anyway, her song got me thinking about the validity of Nietzsche’s notion, so here is this week’s provocative question:

“Does hardship really make a person stronger? If you think so, under what conditions and at what point is it too much hardship? If you don’t buy that hardship makes a person stronger, what do you think does make a person stronger?”

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

And most important, have fun.

7CB9B82C-C71B-4F91-AA50-677F0FD2EA6CBy the way, during the month of April, I will be participating in the “Blogging From A to Z April Challenge.” Between that and my daily “FOWC With Fandango” prompt, it’s going to be a busy month. So I’m going to suspend my “Fandango’s Provocative Question” prompt for the month. It will return on May 1st.

27 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question #20

  1. rugby843 March 27, 2019 / 10:00 am

    Hmmm, I think it depends on the degree of the hardship. I imagine you and I live relatively free of hardship, so if one comes along we deal with it and learn something. Whether that makes us stronger is up to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Garry Armstrong March 27, 2019 / 12:24 pm

    Good question and timely. I just shared some stuff with an old friend about money – our lack of money. I guess the question for me would be – “Why weren’t you smarter with your earnings?” I’m the poster boy for the guy who had a job that paid nicely but never put decent amounts of money away when the pay check came. I spent large amounts on clothing, dining with friends and show biz events with other “friends” I enjoyed carrying around large amounts of money and maxed out myriad credit cards while delinquent in paying down the debits. In retrospect: Gawd awful and stupid behavior. I thougt I would have my job “forever” and someday would start putting money away for the future. Obviously, it never happened and the job inevitably ended, leaving us in precarious financial shape that’s only gotten worse. The good part: I’ve finally learned to be ‘smart’ with the puny retirees income (social security and puny pensions),

    A long winded answer to “Why weren’t you smarter with your earnings?”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Fandango March 27, 2019 / 1:17 pm

      I wasn’t smart, as much as lucky, and had some good advice from close friends and family. Hence, I’m in decent shape, financially speaking. But I know how easy it would have been to have made some poor choices and ended up having to choose between food and prescription drugs. At least you and Marilyn are apparently able to manage on your Social Security benefits and pension.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Garry Armstrong March 27, 2019 / 1:42 pm

        A long time ago, at one of our shared summer homes on Martha’s Vineyard, Marilyn noiticed me dump a bunch of envelopes on the table and stare at them. She asked what I was doing. “Paying my bills”, I answered. She saw what a mess it was and offered to help. She’s been the Chief Family Financial Officer since.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Garry Armstrong March 27, 2019 / 2:54 pm

            Yep. Marilyn has that thankless job. So did my Mom.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. pensitivity101 March 27, 2019 / 3:17 pm

    I think experiencing hardship makes us appreciate things more, and makes us realise exactly what is important. IMO we take too much for granted then when it’s not there any more, we wonder who we can blame. Hardship isn’t just about finances, it’s friendships and loyalty too.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. KC March 27, 2019 / 4:51 pm

    Ooh…I like this challenge.
    Enjoy april’s challenge and see you for May’s #FPQ (I’ll write one for this one tomorrow)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Marleen March 28, 2019 / 11:09 am

    This is from an article Li (of Tao Talk) linked to from what she wrote at her site (link earlier).

    … lest you think that the ACE Study was yet another involving inner-city poor people of color, take note: The study’s participants were 17,000 mostly white, middle and upper-middle class college-educated San Diegans with good jobs and great health care …

    That’s from near the beginning of the article, and the following is from closer to the end.

    …. In addition, there is increasing research that shows that severe and chronic stress leads to bodily systems producing an inflammatory response that leads to disease.
    … The field of epigenetics shows that we are born with a set of genes that can be turned on and off, depending on what’s happening in our environment. If a child grows up with an overload of toxic stress, their stress-response genes are likely to be activated so that they are easily triggered by stressful situations that don’t affect those who don’t grow up with toxic stress. …

    Fortunately, brains and lives are somewhat plastic. Resilience research shows that the appropriate integration of resilience factors — such as asking for help, developing trusting relationships, forming a positive attitude, listening to feelings — can help people improve their lives.

    Reading the questions that can add up to ten [if I remember correctly], I came up with one number reading precisely what the words say, and an addition of another one if I read with adult understanding of a situation from when I was a child. (Either way, under five.)

    I had a large repertoire and understanding, along with habits, of resilience. I got along quite decently for decades after childhood. I didn’t participate in risky behavior or substance abuse (not even coffee until I was thirty-five or so). I hardly ever took even an aspirin. And I’d never had a benadryl. But I had stress in my environment because the person I married did not have good skills of communication, listening to feelings, being consistent and honest, and so on. He also didn’t seem to understand what a home environment was. (One reason could be that he was an “army brat” — his dad a colonel. He, meanwhile, always drank coffee [all day long and into the night] and would always order some alcoholic drink/s [for himself] when we went out… but was not an alcoholic. This didn’t bother me or alarm me, as it is normal in our culture.)

    There came a time when no matter how well I handled life, the stress caught up with (or added up on) me. Inflammation can do a variety of things, but what happened to me was my throat swelled. I had never heard of this. I called the doctor, who told me to take benadryl (which was not on my shelf before); at this point, we thought I was having a reaction to aspirin (something I’d taken kind of often in the last month because of headaches). Oh! Actually, I’ve just remembered that I forgot something. My throat hadn’t swelled before I called my doctor; the symptom at that point was that I had a rash. He told me that if my throat swelled, I should go to the emergency room. I went to bed not long after taking benadryl (as you can imagine the feeling when it was the first time I’d had it), it was nine-thirty in the evening. Kinda early, but not too early.

    I considered myself very strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Marleen March 28, 2019 / 5:37 pm

    Melanie, I appreciate your post and answers. I’m glad you got Ziggy and Pudge. You encouraged me, also, when you said you’d take two years off, at least, if you lost a child. (It was two years and a slight bit more yet for me to start feeling a little up-to-par; that’s about my dad.) And — then, of course — hardly anyone really does that. It is a rough world, as you indicated.

    On another note, concerning your recent encounter with a therapist, I went to a counselor a few times and said at one point that the person I was with might be schizophrenic (when I learned some real symptoms and that it’s not the pop vision of it). She seemed/was a little bothered, like the only kind of schizophrenic that would matter to her would be those who think the electrical wires in the wall are talking to them. (There are people who can function very adeptly with schizophrenia and wouldn’t say a thing about wires talking to them.) Anyway, I don’t remember if I went back to her after that. I might’ve, once. The last time I had an appointment with her, I totally forgot until it was too late to get there on time because I was helping someone move. I called at the last minute (when I remembered).

    I do think I would try again with her if I wanted to talk to someone. There are two things she said to me that helped. One simply was that she acknowledged something as abuse (a kind she named) that most people on the street would just tell a person to buck up about.

    [I can’t post at your site without setting up an account, or I would’ve.]

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen April 7, 2019 / 3:31 pm

      Update on the concern about the person who was difficult to deal with (in my post just prior — second paragraph). I have noticed trembling in at least one of his hands two times when I saw him recently, and I saw him change the position of his hand to hide it the second time (while I said or indicated nothing about it either time — not sure if his intention was to hide it from others or from himself). I have said before, prior to what I said to the counselor, that living with him was like living with an Alzheimer’s patient (when he was younger than fifty — but for decades before that as well). [Incidentally, none of this is intended as related to Melanie. I addressed Melanie with regard to a counselor under-playing the significance of a concern, a different kind.]

      There were two things (I recall) that had Alzheimer’s on my mind with regard to him. One was his memory. This had to do with memory in everyday life, not work… the specifics of doing work (in the field of computers*); he was well employed the whole time. I didn’t think he actually had Alzheimer’s Disease. The other was the stress; I had heard that people, particularly family members, who care for people with AD die earlier.

      Then there was another symptom he had (for what diagnosis I can’t really know — and, if he does know, he wouldn’t say) of mixing things up in terms of time. (This became more pronounced later, and he hid it earlier.) There was a scientist I saw on a science show, a person who had schizophrenia himself, who said schizophrenics can have issues with time… an example he gave was Is this happening because of something I did; which thing happened first? This was obviously a high-functioning schizophrenic (taking medication as well) who was willing to look at himself and not insist that everything is someone else’s fault.+

      And now, in the last year or so, I’ve learned this:
      I hadn’t known, previously, that hallucinations and delusions were associated with Parkinson’s (PD) sometimes. I will add that hints of it can occur before the tremors. And unless he could be diagnosed with more than one condition, this is the most likely. His mother had it.

      * I want to specify that he did a significant amount of programming [I think they stick to calling it coding more commonly now] early in his career, but he didn’t keep on with it. What he went on to do was more involved with the machinery.

      + He once said to me that I was like the people at work. Apparently, someone at work had recently said he was lying. I responded with something along the line of not knowing he lied at work too. Well, he fixed that (went back to keeping his stories separate between work and home… you can’t have people figuring things out, you know.)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Melanie B Cee April 7, 2019 / 11:18 am

    AHA!! I wondered where the question was this week. Today (Sunday) I kept searching and voila! An answer. I’ll look forward to May then! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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