We must learn to accept graciously the gift of adversity.

That is to mean that adversity is not something that we intuitively see as a gift, and we must condition ourselves to appreciate it when it comes.

That isn’t to say we don’t; we may welcome a challenge, but only when we set ourselves to face it. There are times where adversity will simply appear without provocation and introduction; this we must learn to appreciate as well.

A friend of mine is going through a hard time. She is incredibly hard working, respectable, and smart. She had the goal of establishing her own horse barn, where she could rent out stalls, teach students, and host competitions.

Recently, she had been evicted from her home, and had all her belongings confiscated with the exception of the clothes she was wearing and what she was carrying within them.

Luckily, her mother had held on to a property that she could move into. However, it was vacant for two years, had no running water or electricity, and the windows were left open during its vacancy, meaning much of the interior was victimized by the elements. She essentially camped in the house.

She has every right to curse the world for her misfortune; she was seemingly undeserving of such treatment. We would have little right to judge, as it is hard to be in such a situation and do otherwise.

She also has every right to look at this as a test of her character; what has happened to her is an opportunity to fortify her mental constitution, something important to have during times of such calamity.

There is one clear better option between the two, even if neither of them are necessarily unjustified, but it is not easy to take it.

It isn’t easy to look at unfairness with a smile; it isn’t easy to take an unwelcome challenge with open arms.

That is why we must learn how.

It makes us stronger, happier, wiser, to have learned to accept graciously the gift of adversity.

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