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Columbia Press

Columnists & Other Opinions

Senior Moments: Do struggles make us stronger?

Emma Edwards
By Emma Edwards, Friday, August 3, 2018

A famous businesswoman, actress and model was quoted as saying, “I really believe in the old expression that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. It is through adversity that you find the strength you never knew you had.”

Some may ask, “How would she know?” She seems to have a rather perfect life from the outside.

The saying is attributed to 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

What did he mean when he said that? Nietzsche had a hard life both physically and mentally.

He believed pain and suffering made you stronger. Some believe the saying originated in the Bible. That sparked my interest!

It’s further puzzling as Nietzsche was well known as an atheist. However, one cannot deny verses such as Romans 5:3, which says, in part, “Let us exult while in tribulations, since we know that tribulation produces endurance.”

And from the book of James: “The tested quality of your faith works out endurance.”

Someone once said that most good ideas or sayings come from the Bible in one form or another!

So, what does that have to do with today’s seniors? Many of us seem to enjoy relating how we had to walk three miles in the pouring rain or snow to school. Maybe that made us stronger. However, how do we suffer as seniors? Not necessarily in a way that makes us stronger.

Those in physical therapy often are told to stop a regime when it becomes too painful. I know there is that other saying, “no pain, no gain.” I think that’s more for sports fanatics. As seniors, we do not need to suffer unnecessarily.

Recently, a columnist in the Daily Astorian wrote about senior abuse. They closed the column with the following, “Anyone who suspects that (you or) an elderly loved one is suffering abuse — I implore you to call Adult Protective Services’ hotline (800-222-8000) or local law enforcement.”

For general senior information, including elder abuse, visit the National Institute on Aging nia.nih.gov/health/elder-abuse. While you’re on the NIA website, check out the information on healthy eating, health information, Alzheimer’s Disease and subjects such as grants and funding.

Our local number to report abuse of vulnerable adults in Clatsop, Marion, Polk, Tillamook and Yamhill counties is 800-846-9165. You may save someone's life!

By the way, while I was gone on my little vacation, someone left me a bag with two amazing Christian books in it and I think it was someone who reads this column.

I have checked with many but haven't found the generous person yet. Anyway, I went them to know that I appreciated the gesture. Sometimes we seniors get a chuckle out of doing some kind act anonymously.


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