Everyone has this idea that some arbitrary amount of hardship — you know it when you see it — is just “too much,” and beyond that point we are obliged to feel miserable, suffer, and bemoan the fates. When we are teenagers, it doesn’t take much — almost everything is a tragedy. As we grow, we (usually) learn that we are tougher than we thought. But we still cling to that notion that there’s only so much we can “take,” and when life piles on the really serious challenges, sooner or later we decide it’s worthy of more misery, suffering and fate bemoaning.
The location of that line, however, is up to us. It’s our line, placed with care. In fact, “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Ironic wisdom from one of the most depressed characters in all of literature! But Hamlet knew it wasn’t Denmark that was bad, only what he thought about it. Truth doesn’t get any truer, and Shakespeare’s quote is the high-falutin’ version of, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” It may sound trite, but that is just how it goes with wisdom that is simple to understand but hard to apply.
Everything is just something that happens to us before we die; what we do with it is a choice. If we think we are at the mercy of experience, we will be.