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Adversity by Erasmus Cromwell-Smith


Either by acts of men, nature

or humanity’s creations,

fatefully, sooner or later,

weather systems will gather in the horizon

or events will happen unexpectedly.


one way or another

with or without warning,

Adversity will hit us during our life’s journey.

Adversity will affect us

emotionally, spiritually,

physically, materially,

in any combination.

As a consequence,

when we face hardship in life,

there is no choice;

with impetus we gather

all our strengths, forces and powers;

those that we have,

those that we don’t,

those that we reach from,

then go and face Adversity head on.

We confront Adversity

for us, others or both

without fear or hesitation,

with all our will and desire.

We aim at Adversity’s bullseye,

seeking to outlive and overcome it.

Against Adversity,

we seek to raise back up,

prevail and defeat;

 rendering it

completely annihilated and vanquished.

When we don’t confront or face Adversity head on,

we find ourselves trapped

in a maze of indecisiveness,

drawing pointless circles within our minds,

while wasting valuable time,

avoiding or delaying action.

These are moments,

some lasting a lifetime,

where we find ourselves lamenting,

feeling sorry for ourselves or others,

procrastinating, commiserating, regretting,

while doing very little to fight back.

When we behave in such ways,

our failure to act leads us to nowhere,

except for reaching empty places,

where eventually, all our excuses sound hollow,

not only robbing us of our ability to live in full,

but also reflecting the attitude of a soldier,

that runs away from the battle of life,

without ever firing a single shot,

as he is unwilling to face the enemy of Adversity

with the courage and conviction

needed to defeat it,

or perhaps to adapt to it.

Getting a grip of Adversity is best

when we catch it early on;

when out of foresight, anticipation,

preparation and readiness,

we see it coming

and being prepared for it,

we prevent it or stop it right on its tracks,

before it happens, right at its onset.

And yet,

in many ways Adversity is also an opportunity,

sometimes for renewal, new beginnings,

or simply, marking the start of the end of a bad spell.

How we react and cope with it,

determines our success

in overcoming and making something positive out of it.

If hardship is avoidable,

then our existential duty

is to do all within our power,

to prevent it or stay out of its path.

But, on the other hand,

if adversity is inevitable,

we must adapt or learn to live with it,

as our goal is to outlast and outwill it.

If hardship is irreversible,

we will still seek to find and squeeze the most out of life,

during every moment we are in the Universe.

On the other hand,

if hardship is mendable,

we fight like lions,

to cure ourselves,

doing it relentlessly to no end.

Yet, we must be very careful of mirages in the desert,

as hardships sometimes

are nothing but a figment of our imagination,

where we see obstacles and hurdles where there are none.

We create them out of fear, insecurities,

pessimism, anxiety or even depressive conditions.

Adversity is best faced with existential tools

life hope, conviction, resilience, defiance,

optimism, ingenuity, faith, work ethic,

a busy mind and a spirit with a purpose,

all of these coupled with love.

Sometimes we run into the Adversity of others,

don’t know what to do,

involuntarily our perception of them becomes negative

as if those afflicted with Adversity,

suffer from a very contagious disease,

we want to stay away from.

On other occasions,

we act as if, in a way, those under hardship

have somehow suddenly changed

or fallen from their former selves,

so, we perceive them and behave as if,

because of their circumstances,

they are less,

hence not worthy of us.

But, how wrong we are

to conduct ourselves in such ways,

as inexorably we’ll end up

experiencing hardship and tragedy as well,

finding ourselves on the receiver’s end

of the same exact happenstance.

Thus, it is wise and existential

to treat the hardship of others,

with utmost respect,

a kind and giving heart,

as even if their battles are not ours,


we are still soldiers of the same army,

fighting the same existential war.

Against unforeseen mishaps and vicissitudes,

hardship is greatly diminished when thought of,

in comparative and relative terms,

as no matter how difficult and bad

the circumstances may seem,

they can always be a lot worse.

Adversity is at its worst when comes unannounced,

we are unprepared and are caught unguarded.

The best of all attitudes against Adversity

is to treat it as an enemy of war,

to whom we never surrender,

against whom we never quit,

to the contrary,

we fight and oppose relentlessly,

until we defeat or do away with it.

But if we can’t,

we adapt,

continuing to extract out of Adversity,

the best life still has to offer

within the circumstances that we face,

knowing there is never time to waste,

because life never stops,

while we overcome hardship.


Adversity must always be treated

as an existential opportunity to wake up

from a life of contentment, comfort and complacency.

Hence, hardship can be a chance

to renew and reinvent ourselves.

But, Adversity is an opportunity only if we make it so.

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