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Can you build character without suffering?
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shaqued_almond




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 11:56 am
My experiences are certainly not applicable to everyone but the older I get the more I start to believe that humans need a little suffering to build character. I believe sometimes suffering is unavoidable but can result in great things. Example: sleep loss when kids are little. But it's possible I'm wrong, so the question is, do you know someone with great middot (work ethic, honesty, integrity, independence, kindness) that didn't go through some sadness or strictness in their life? Can strictness/ firmness exist without causing negative feelings?
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yiddishmom




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 11:59 am
I agree with you.

No, I don't know anyone great, with better than great middos, that hasn't gone through "something " in life.
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WitchKitty




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 12:37 pm
Is there anyone who hasn't gone through something in life?
I'm pretty sure everyone suffers at some point. The question is what you make of it.
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Thisisnotmyreal




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 12:40 pm
Yes. We're going to be non stop growing and accomplishing in Geula.
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Bnei Berak 10




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 1:17 pm
Hardships do form your character. Pressure makes diamonds as they say. Nobody goes through life without hardships or difficulties.
It's been shown that Helicopter parenting makes kids miserable and at the slightest hardship or loss they suddenly need expert help from psycologists etc. because their dog died etc. They are not resilient at all!
I dont believe in making things more difficult for the sake of building character. But to brush out every little bump in the child's life? No. It's called tough love.
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Thisisnotmyreal




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 1:31 pm
Bnei Berak 10 wrote:
Hardships do form your character. Pressure makes diamonds as they say. Nobody goes through life without hardships or difficulties.
It's been shown that Helicopter parenting makes kids miserable and at the slightest hardship or loss they suddenly need expert help from psycologists etc. because their dog died etc. They are not resilient at all!
I dont believe in making things more difficult for the sake of building character. But to brush out every little bump in the child's life? No. It's called tough love.


Children are resilient, I don't know how anyone can be a mom without saying no multiple times a day. The question is about hardships and suffering. Sorry to say this but jerks that get cancer, are just that, jerks with cancer. I don't see that trauma is what makes a person better. Lehefech.
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sequoia




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 1:34 pm
Ew

No

Trauma doesn’t make you stronger.

And it’s not shameful to talk to psychologists.
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Thisisnotmyreal




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 1:36 pm
It's what we generally call learning the hard way. This implies that there's an easy way to learn. People inherently know what right and want to do right. If educated APPROPRIATELY, the character is built.
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happy7




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 2:02 pm
So long as we are in golus, everyone suffers.

Everyone is confronted with choices, disappointments, and daily life.

A person can always build character.
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balance




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 2:05 pm
Challenge builds character. Someone who glides through life without any kind of challenge will not develop properly. But challenge and suffering are not synonymous. Challenge can be positive it does not have to be negative.
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kiti




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 2:06 pm
Life is meant to be hard, and it's an excellent opportunity to build character (For example, self-discipline, empathy, compassion, diligence, perseverance)

"An easy life will lead you on a hard path, and a hard path will bring you an easy life."

But in the end, it's all up to Hashem. Hashem knows what's best for us.
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Highstrung




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 2:10 pm
sequoia wrote:
Ew

No

Trauma doesn’t make you stronger.

And it’s not shameful to talk to psychologists.

suffering or hardship doesn’t necessarily equal trauma.
I agree with you that trauma does make one feel stuck. But I also think people that experience trauma and persevere and go through life ,are extremely strong, they just don’t realize their own strengths or acknowledge it within themselves.
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shaqued_almond




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 7:02 pm
sequoia wrote:
Ew

No

Trauma doesn’t make you stronger.

And it’s not shameful to talk to psychologists.


I don't think that she meant that therapy is bad. I think she wanted to criticize being dependent on a therapist for every minor problem. Therapy should give people tools to cope with their problems.
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mitzva




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 7:04 pm
shaqued_almond wrote:
My experiences are certainly not applicable to everyone but the older I get the more I start to believe that humans need a little suffering to build character. I believe sometimes suffering is unavoidable but can result in great things. Example: sleep loss when kids are little. But it's possible I'm wrong, so the question is, do you know someone with great middot (work ethic, honesty, integrity, independence, kindness) that didn't go through some sadness or strictness in their life? Can strictness/ firmness exist without causing negative feelings?

there is a correlation with suffering and kindness.
All the people who have helped my son had suffered unusual emotional pain.
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shaqued_almond




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 7:06 pm
Thisisnotmyreal wrote:
It's what we generally call learning the hard way. This implies that there's an easy way to learn. People inherently know what right and want to do right. If educated APPROPRIATELY, the character is built.


Well that's the question, does this appropriate education exist? I haven't seen it yet.
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Thisisnotmyreal




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 8:10 pm
shaqued_almond wrote:
Well that's the question, does this appropriate education exist? I haven't seen it yet.


I'm praying we're getting there. I hope we are seeing parents parenting better and schools becoming better at targeting all aspects of the students capabilities and not just regurgitation of information.
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alwayssmiling




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 8:18 pm
mitzva wrote:
there is a correlation with suffering and kindness.
All the people who have helped my son had suffered unusual emotional pain.

Very true. It's simply because pain and suffering brings people off their high horses, humbles them and installs extra sensitivity in them.
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NotInNJMommy




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 8:24 pm
I know my hardships have resulted in my having much more compassion and understanding for people and things on a deeper level.
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allthingsblue




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 8:34 pm
Sleep loss when kids are little causes me to be unable to function. It’s a physiological reaction for me. I end up being very short tempered.

Other kinds of “suffering” have built character for me - but does not have to be traditional suffering. Can be the thinking honestly which can be painful, or going out of my comfort zone.
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shaqued_almond




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Sep 21 2022, 8:40 pm
Thisisnotmyreal wrote:
I'm praying we're getting there. I hope we are seeing parents parenting better and schools becoming better at targeting all aspects of the students capabilities and not just regurgitation of information.


It seems to me that people just don't have good middot in their nature. I'm not saying that I know the answer to the right parenting question. What I do remember is that my parents were emotionally neglectful and potched but I think I was generally more behaved in comparison to my class mates some 15 years ago. So I don't like that. I don't like having to be as strict with my kids as I am but they also just have moments of teasing each other horribly. They're not really grateful for the privileges that they get over the way I grew up. At least they don't show it. From the kids I see, it's usually the minority who is kind and they're not affluent so there's some struggle at least that I know of. Long story short, it's also a bit the character of a person.
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