Tough Teachers

“I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.” – Khalil Gibran

During today’s run, I noticed several flowering trees in my neighborhood bursting through, in spite of earlier snows and hard freezes. For whatever reason, it reminded me of this Gibran quote. I’m more grateful for these blooms because of all of the damage and loss that from the late blast of winter.

Which begs the question — do we need bad things to happen to learn to fully appreciate the good?

Would I have enjoyed today’s great run so much if I’d never experienced a really crappy run?

Are people more generous with others when they know what it’s like to have nothing?

Would we find such joy in the company of friends if we never knew loneliness?

We experience fatigue to appreciate rest. Hunger to appreciate food. The list goes on.

Hard times are tough teachers, no doubt about it. They suck, in fact. But they open our hearts, eyes, and minds to the good stuff we’d take for granted otherwise.

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