Adversity - 逆境 - Nìjìng
The sapling surrounded by giants
must fight tenaciously to survive.
Adversity will inevitably confront us all. We are denied influence, people do not listen to us, and we are seemingly restricted by circumstance. In these situations, followers of Tao must rely on their determination. Without determination, we will never emerge from these dangerous times.
During times of adversity, our vision and determination directly decide the outcome. Doggedness alone will not suffice. Observe carefully, before you try to act. If you are finding yourself tested, realize that the adversity you face may force you to consolidate your resources. After passing the gauntlet, you will oftentimes find yourself feeling stronger, and more in control, than before. Do not be overtaken by fear. Take calculated risks, when feasible, and face danger full-on when its unavoidable. If you maintain a focused mindset throughout, you will triumph.
Without being hemmed in, the sapling would not be forced to marshal its resources to grow towards the light. It must exercise its inner potential, releasing forth the latent strength to live. Its branches eventually become strong, and the trunk grand and wide, as its youthful suffering paved the way for mature growth. Thus, the adversity we all face is integral to the development of our personalities.
~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao