“What doesn’t kill you….”

makes you stronger.” This mantra has been repeated through lyrics, books, and word of mouth. It may be trite, but the message passed on through generations rings true. Difficulties and obstacles force us to change, to grow new perspectives, or even shed mistakes form the past that caused the difficulties. Conflict teaches us that life isn’t fair, but we need to get back up and keep trying.

Last April, I had two lung collapses resulting in lung surgery that disrupted a month of school. This was a major struggle that I encountered as I had worked extremely hard in school and my medical leave was definitely going to affect my grades. At that point, I had a 99% in Biology 11, and when I cam back after recovery, I dropped to a 97%. For me before the hospital, progress meant reaching that 100%. But literally, after a lot of blood, sweat, and tears I made real progress: learning to breath again. I realized that health was so much more important than school. And even though I still worked hard, my priorities have shifted. This was a major leap in my life because I grew from my mistakes and realized the most important things in my life. However, it is not only in my life that progress results only from struggle and conflict, but in others as well.

In the book 1984, progress can be taken a look at on Big Brother’s Side. His struggle is that he needs to maintain power. However, with a lot of his followers constantly committing mind crimes, he effectively brainwashes his followers and those of the opposing team. His power is constantly vulnerable to rebellion and this conflict in itself has formed Big Brother into the person he is. The root of greed for power or lack of it has allowed Big Brother to progress his regime. In both cases, for the good or bad in mankind, struggle is a trigger that forces new strategies to move on and get better.

Through the past centuries of mankind, struggles and conflict have led us to where we are today. Inventions resulted from struggles, wards of conflicts led us to develop the UN, and human rights rooter from those who were suppressed but decided to do something about it. Current society, would not be possible or thrive from all the individual and group progresses that were achieved from physical or psychological suffering. Progress in our society will always need to be fought for because progress is not yet the norm.

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