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Strength & Understanding

Whenever I go through my old journals, the ones I have had since 4th grade and above, it makes me feel like I've lived forever.
You know how people say, "I think children should go through hardship when they're growing up, because it makes them stronger people"?
Okay I can understand that, I DO understand that! But really, do children really NEED hardship? In order to make them stronger people, capable of handling life and people, and society?
I talked about this yesterday with M.
For me, going through the things I went through as a child and a teenager, definitely did make me who I am. Obviously. That's how life works. But there's more to that!!!
And I am one to understand people better, I am one to help people more because of that understanding.
Honestly, I don't think if I hadn't of gone through life the way I did, that I'd be good at understanding other people and the things they go through. Understanding.
Like a therapist who has never been through anything, has no mental illness of their own. They might be able to help you out from what they went to school for, what they studied and learned.
But will they ever truly understand?
I do not think so. Because it's true! You can't fully understand something if you, yourself, haven't gone through that something, or know it from the inside out because you experienced it.
But "kids should go through hardship?" No!
Kids should be kids.
Kids shouldn't have to worry about the outside world until they are more aware of the outside world.
Kids shouldn't grow up afraid of people!
Yes, the world can be a very scary place, and full of people who only care about themselves, who will walk all over you every chance they get.
But what good does that give to a child? Them knowing these things at such a young age...
This is a tricky subject though.
Because for you to be an understanding person, you have to know what it's really like. Whatever it may be.
You may have sympathy for others, but not empathy.
A person who went to school to become a great psychotherapist who grew up with the perfect life, maybe a few times where they felt sad for some reason, will treat you with sympathy.
But I don't see how a kid who goes through the divorce of his parents, or maybe one of his siblings hates him his whole life and he feels useless and unwanted, can make a person stronger in the long run; compared to a kid who had a loving, stable family his whole life.
I think it's all about how you choose to react to whatever is happening in your life. Good or bad!
I could have gone the opposite direction with things. I could have became an alcoholic, or a coke addict. And I could have had no sympathy or empathy for anyone. I could have become a very selfish person. And was just one of those people who walked all over others, any chance I could get. And blame it all on "my hardships."
And someone who grew up in the perfect household, who didn't have anything to worry about, with a loving family and good friends, might choose to rebel against all of that.
But in the end, it's all about HOW you CHOOSE to react. Reaction is what makes you able to understand. Because you can react the wrong way, which will, in turn, become a learning lesson. Taking your childhood, and learning from it, whether it was good or bad!
Whether a kid grows up painfully or not, it's all about the person. Who YOU are deep down inside.
Where you decide which direction to take.
I don't believe children deserve to have their childhood taken from them. Their innocence. Shoving them into the "adult" world.
It is the most pure thing a person can have. Their innocence...
And draining their innocence from them to make them a "stronger" person is cruel. And I think that there is something wrong with you if you believe that the only way to make a person strong is to snatch their innocence from their very souls. Because that is what happens! Whether you intentionally take a child's innocence away from them or not, maybe you should think about something other than yourself and not even risk the chance.
I think you can also be a good person and not be totally understanding of things. Just like you can be a bad person and be a very understanding person simultaneously.
Like I said, it's how you choose to react to your childhood.
I had a hard childhood, most people do. But I chose to take that and make it into something great. So that I can help people. And I can understand them. But will I ever fully understand someone? I haven't been through absolutely everything!!! I can only understand the things I have been through myself. And the rest I can have sympathy for. That's how it is with anyone, no matter HOW they grew up!!!
But does that make me a stronger person? I don't feel most cases, I feel like I am weaker than most! But I can say that I am always willing to be a helpful person. In any way I can. If I can put a spark in people, make them see that life isn't out to get you, then I'd say that's a good start. Maybe if people's spark wasn't blown out when they were children, we wouldn't have to try so hard to make people want to live. And know that they really are here for a reason!
That is strength above all.
Understanding and being a strong person are two different things.
Either way, no, I don't agree at all that in order for you to be a strong person, that you have to have a hard time growing up.
Have you ever thought about the fact that the child who goes through a terrible childhood can ALSO turn into a terrible, sociopathic, anger issued, raging serial killer?!
Okay, so they're strong. And they're strong enough to hold women down.
And strong enough to suppress their feelings.
And strong enough to pull the trigger. Or open a pill jar.
If you wanna CHOOSE whether to raise a child like a child, a bully, a boss; or to raise your child like a respectful adult, who cares, and supports, and LOVES....I mean, is that really such a hard decision??
Would I have been greatful to not have gone through what I did? Of course!
But I am also grateful for the life I did have...because I chose to be greatful.
I HATE my past. Hate! H-A-T-E!!!!!
I don't think my "up-bringing" made me a strong person.
Life throws things at you. And you react. And you learn. It's simple as that.

"Only when a man is safely ensconced under six feet of earth with several tons of enlauding granite upon his chest, is he in a position to give advice with any certainty, and then he is silent."
-Edward Newton 


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