By Chaplain (Maj.) Jorge Budez
Special to GUIDON
History shows that cultures who understand the meaning of hardship and tribulation are more resilient than those that are not aware.
A proper understanding of struggle creates a society nurtured with patience, endurance, character, and hope. I am not saying there is no hope without suffering. It would not be accurate to think that.
Suffering, believe it or not, is an essential part of human life. All of us suffer at some point. Sometimes our distress is visible, sometimes not. Sometimes we think that we are the only ones suffering, but we are not. Many of us have experienced the pain of growing up in a dysfunctional family or the alienation and anguish from being different, the ability to see things too clearly while others don’t, the experience of loss and death, etc. These are some forms of suffering I see almost every day when a Soldier comes to my office asking for help.
I like to tell them the story of the Battle of Marathon in Greece (490 BC). History tells us in the battle, the runner bringing the news of the defeating of the Persians died on the spot after delivering the message.
Whether this story is true or not, it points out the right attitude we all must have to reach our goals and dreams.
Undoubtedly, before crossing the finish line, a marathon runner has to resist an indescribable pain and desperation for crossing the finish line before anybody else. That capacity of resistance is what we call endurance and endurance shapes the character of human beings. Character helps to handle whatever life brings, either good or bad, without compromising reliability and compassion.
The path to success will always be full of difficulties and contradictions. I encourage you to nurture yourself with positive thinking and enthusiastic spirit. Optimism will help you to make wise and effective decisions.
In conclusion, don’t take challenges as a burden, instead, take them as a motivation to build up character. Remember…you are a marathon runner; you have the potential to cross the finish line. Don’t give up on your dreams and goals; you must continue pushing forward until you cross the finish line.
(Editor’s notes: Budez is the 3rd Chemical Brigade chaplain.)