28 February, 2012

What Doesn't Kill Me Makes Me Stronger. Really?

I hate that saying, "what doesn't kill me makes me stronger." Everywhere I look I am seeing people write or say this. It appears as a status update on Facebook pretty regularly.  One young lady wrote this on her status recently and everyone was commenting how true it is. So I posted and asked, "Is this really true?" The young lady said, "probably not, but I like the saying anyway." Yeah, I know Kelly Clarkson has a hit song out that proclaims this message... but I have news for you... it just is not true... at least not always. And it is a dangerous thing, the way I see it, to tell everyone this. Can we truthfully say, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"?  I mean, can I tell the heroine addict, go on with it, because if it doesn't kill you, it will make you stronger.  Can I tell the person who gets no exercise, overeats and is now obese... "go on with your bad self... if it doesn't kill you, it will make you stronger!"  Not hardly!  No... the only way it MIGHT make you stronger is if you changed... but even then, it is no guarantee that you are going to get stronger.  I have to admit, it is a nice sentiment... but it is just not accurate.

There is one more aspect of it that makes me hate this saying even more...
Thankfully, not everyone views it this way, but I have met up with some folks, especially young folks that have adopted this as their mantra for life. They have made the decision to go out and experience life "to the fullest" by experimenting and experiencing as much as they can, and they will justify their actions or behavior by saying, "if it doesn't kill me, it will make me stronger." Try telling that to my best friend in high school, who about 12 years ago was in a motorcycle accident that left him with severe brain damage and he has lived in a nursing home since 1998. Tell that to my friend Greg who was going to party his way to California before leaving with the Marine Corps, however his partying got so out of control that he suffered irreversible brain damage and has never been able to live on his own. Try telling that to my friend Ed who was a healthy, strong young man who one night in partying took too many hits of acid and in his altered state of mind turned on and killed his own mother. His life was not made stronger... he has suffered every day since then.

Sorry folks, it just is not a true statement, and this is why I cringe every time I hear or see it.


Jerry Thorpe said...

I really hate that saying. It is a lie that has destroyed a lot of life. People believe that we must live life to it's fullest without acknowledging that it can only be accomplished through Jesus Christ. Only through the Holy Spirit can I become stronger.

Mikey said...

I love that saying. It inspires me when ever I take a fall, whether It's me braking another bone, losing a job, getting dumped by a girl, or losing friends that I've known for a long time. I come to terms with what happens and am sad, but I react in a positive way to counteract the negative. I do this all on my own with out the help of, or following of a god that tells me what to do, and how to live happy. That god wont help you if you brake a leg, or bring back a friend that died. But you can heal and get back up on your own feet. And you can morn for your friend, come to terms that he is gone and move on with your life. Do you really think that if your friend could come back he would want to see you depressed and angry? I don't think so. I'm sorry for your lose, and I understand. But I think you need to think deeper about this saying. And Jerry Thorpe, Yes we should live life to it's fullest, and it does not mean going out and partying your ass off from dawn to dusk. That's just an altered interpretation by today's generation. It means to live each day like it's your last and live it with a smile on your face, knowing that in this world of murder and destruction and the absurdity of all things your still alive. On your own with no ones help, besides the ones you love that love you back.

Darrell said...

I feel for you Mikey. You think you are so strong to stand on your own, but the fact is, you have no concept of who God is. He is not "a" god, He IS God. And he does not manipulate us and "tell us what to do." You are so wrong when you say that my God won't help me when I break a leg (or any other issue in my life.) No, he is not going to bring a friend back to life, for it is appointed unto each of us to die. But if my friend trusted in Christ, as I do, I will see them again, and that is comforting to know that they are not just worm food, but they are in God's presence. I'm not depressed and angry when my friend or family members die. Do I miss them and mourn, yes, but only for a season, because I miss them, but angry and depressed? Nope.

You say I need to think deeper about this saying. I say it is YOU who needs to think. You obviously blew right through what I said. Tell me, how is the crack addict made stronger by their drug?