IEP 22 Ryan
It’s Not Necessarily Bad－Hardship
Mr. de Groof
Grade 11 Composition
It is true that most people in the world suffer problems in many kinds of forms. Economic downturns can be considered as a trial of a country. Natural hazards or disasters can cause serious economic or social damages. However, the presence of hardship allows people to grow during harsh conditions.
The dictionary defines hardship as “a condition that is difficult to endure.” In terms of usage, hardship is used as a noun. Common synonyms for hardship include “trouble,” “affliction,” “suffering,” and “misfortune.” The opposite of hardship is any means specially favorable to success.
Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” It is common that one may face hardship in one’s life, but more importantly, those who overcome hardship are the ones who live a more meaningful life than others.
Hardship plays a big role throughout history. The Great Depression, which had brought significant economic hardship to many American families in the 1920s. At that time, the stock market crashed in 1929, due to the sudden market fall and over 16 million shares were sold. The crash caused bank failures, so the people lost their money. Factories had less income because of the reduction in purchasing across the board, thus factory owners couldn’t afford as many workers as they could before. Many factories were closed, therefore, unemployment reached 25%. As a result, both the country and its people involved in this economic disaster, and the only way to end it is to introduce new policies. The US President Franklin Roosevelt had observed the hardships that the people faced. He created new agencies for job opportunities and provided unemployment insurance. Now lessons are learned. All central banks in the world work together to ensure that another Great Depression wouldn’t happen again.
Another great example of hardship is the Taiwan 921 Earthquake. On September 21, 1999, an earthquake struck at midnight. Approximately 2400 people were killed and about US$14 billion worth of damage were done. Though we all know that natural hazards like earthquakes are unavoidable, hazard mitigation and emergency management did not get much attention before the earthquake, hence the economic losses were inestimable. The Taiwanese government shows a lack of planning for earthquake disasters. In fact, the 921 Earthquake gave the world and the Taiwanese an opportunity to evaluate the crisis management of the country. Taiwan had undergone self-examination after such severe hardship, and eventually a governmental agency, the 921 Earthquake Post-Disaster Recover Commission, was formed to recover the damaged homeland.
Great lives do require hardship. People, just like countries mentioned above, make their lives better when dealing with adversity. If one wants to achieve anything difficult, one has to work hard and be prepared for the setbacks along the way. The presence of hardship indicates where it needs improvement. And hardship itself should be seen as positive because “no pain, no gain.”
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