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Could adversity be a Friend?

"Out of the dirt comes the gold"

Adversity visits us all at some time in our lives. How do we cope with it, what do we learn from it? Do we find value in it?

The proliferation of drug dependency, prescription or illegal, the huge excessive consumption of alcohol, the obsession with fun, the broken families, the incredibly insane divorce and separation rate, the abuse of women and children, the crime rate, the corruption, the abortion rate, sickness and death, we can go on endlessly describing the negative effects of living. Do these indicate a radically poor coping mechanism?

Are these an indication we have lost our way on this journey of life?

Have we focused on the hole in the doughnut?

I sincerely believe life is a gift to be treasured. We get one shot at being all that we can be. One shot at using our lives, not just for our own pleasure but to share. This one shot lasts a short period of some 70 years. We get a lot of opportunities to change the course but we cannot come back after death to “make a difference! It makes sense then to maximise our gift of life now while we can!

The women who have been kind enough to share, to contribute their experiences with us are an inspiration. I was asked when doing the TV show "Stand Up" on SABC3 in 2008, "What makes us happy?" I could not answer more wisely than Jesus when he said, "There is more happiness in giving than in receiving" Acts 20:35. When we employ our time and energy to help others, we are magically transported to the realm of happiness. I received this short and encouraging story from a young lady in Cape Town recently and it reinforces this belief…


My friend Bronwyn asked if I'd mind giving her a hand at the CANSA Walk-a-thon, Friday 18th March after I  finished at work.  Her function was to attend to the smooth running of the "Survivors Tent", where they would receive supper etc.  Initially I was not very keen after a day’s work, but decided I'd go anyhow. On arrival, whilst assisting with tying sashes, I looked at their faces, wondering where they had their cancer, how did they feel emotionally, what were their thoughts, was there still traces of cancer?  Some were old others very young, I realised it could happen to any of us, we just assume we will be fine.  Strange, they looked happy, smiling, chatting away I saw it as an achievement for not giving up. After we cleared the tables, we received compliments for making them feel so special, many sat just chatting, sharing stories of their ordeal.  

I'd really done nothing much other than smile welcoming them, serve meals, coffee, nothing hectic, but to them they felt treated like Kings and Queens.  It made me realise they take nothing for granted.  I thought what more could I do?  Massage their necks came to mind and I had some baby oil in my bag and was aware aroma oils could not be used.  I wanted to let them know I cared.  I approached a few ladies about 8 at one of the tables as most had left the tent, asked if any one of them would like to enjoy a neck massage?  The response was overwhelming.  None of them had ever been spoilt with a massage.

This was one of the greatest moments of my life.  They shared their stories with me, most had lost a breast.  I was shown how one's chest looked like after the breast was removed, what the artificial breast looked like, feel it they said, it doesn't hurt.  They explained their emotions after finding out and with all their pain and suffering they were so worried about the emotional pain their families were going through.  I tried to give a few words of inspiration, hope, love and promised should anyone need me I'd be there for them.  We exchanged numbers and of recent I received a call from a young lady called Rhonda, she had to have a total hysterectomy, when I answered my mobile I heard a voice saying "are you my angel I met at the CANSA event?"

Thank you Desray for being such a wonderful example of selflessness. Your experience bears heavily in favour and evidence of the true secret to happiness, namely to be a giver! It has been my experience that women are the earth's most generous givers. They give of themselves constantly. They motivate us men to be givers. Without their nudging, we men may not be as forthcoming!

May it be that the experiences of these women and how they have coped help us to be more determined to emulate their courage. What would we do without women? What would we do without these "Miraculum" - these glorious Objects of Wonder?

May it happen that one day they be given the reigns to rule the world to the benefit of all mankind! All that we have read seems to lead us to the conclusion that if we view our ordeals in life as rungs on a ladder, that with effort and the right positive mental attitude, continues to lift us higher.