“Greatness is born of tragedy.” – Gary LeBlanc
Stephen Colbert is one of my favorite scholars. One would expect me to say comedian, but I see Mr. Colbert as more of a scholar. For those less familiar, he was the host of The Colbert Report – a satirical 30-minutes of television, poking fun at American politics and relevant social issues.
Stephen was the youngest of eleven kids. When he was only 10 years old, his father and two brothers died in a plane crash. They were the only kids still at home, so all that remained at his house were Stephen and his mom. I need not emphasize the devastation a 10 year-old going through such a tragedy must have experienced.
Before his professional comedic debut at Second City, Stephen learned the best lesson of his life: “You have to learn to love the bomb.” Later in his career when he was 35, he finally came to the realization, “… I love the thing that I most wish had not happened.”
This is profound on so many levels. We cannot choose what has already happened in life. The greatest tragedies in life are not the ‘bombs’. The greatest tragedy in life is not growing from the experience.
Growth is correlated to your proximity to a tragedy. If you witness someone in another country suffering, you may donate to a charity. When your father and brothers die suddenly, your whole life changes forever.
If you’re harboring resentment or pain or suffering from an event in your past, turn it on its head. Love the thing that you most wish had not happened. Let me say this again, love the thing that you most wish had not happened. Love it because it pushed you further then you would have ever gone without it.
Sometimes the greatest gift is veiled in hurt and pain. It’s time to face your demons. Thank them. And move forward stronger than was ever possible before.
“Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.” – Paulo Coelho