Antithetical commentary:

On "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger"#

Posted 2024-02-12

I recall the nice ring of this aphorism when I first heard it. I embraced it...for awhile.

However, on closer inspection:
what doesn't entirely finish me off still moves me closer to the finish line. I'm on a non-negotiable entropy journey called mortality. For that journey, the research accumulates to show that anything classed as trauma -- physical, emotional, etc. -- propels me several extra steps forward. So the time when, ball-cap visor pulled stupidly low, I crashed my forehead into my deck project's hefty rim joist: that was a journey-advancing trauma. And there have been an assortment of traumas through the years, too many of them self inflicted -- "the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to". To say I survived each is not to say I was stenghthened.

I propose a minor concession: it may be that with each survived trauma there is potential of increased mental fortitude for facing the next. If true, then we might have a replacement aphorism: what doesn't kill me entirely...kills me a little less than it previously would have. I can live with that (pun intended).

Paradise Lost 2

Satan rises from the lake of fire (1866) by Gustave Doré; (certainly not strengthened, but stubbornly carrying on)

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