what doesn’t kill you leaves you for dead.
B.H. McTease was in the midst of a massive something at his work-a-day. It was during the hullabaloo where someone bemoaned, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Uh. Not really.
Not to be a major downer, but I don’t know if that truism is even mostly true. And frankly, if we were to parse the statement, don’t most things kill you? Sure, sometimes it is in super slo-mo, but still. Let’s think about it for a second.
Veggies: Unless someone drives a celery through your heart, chances are good that your veggies are not going to kill you. They might even make you stronger. Score one for the truism.
Fruits: Once again, unless you choke on it, it won’t likely kill you. Unless of course it’s a kiwi, and you are me. Then you will die. Or at least suffer anaphylaxis. On the chance that you do survive, you won’t be stronger. You will just feel itchy, and a bit swollen from the steroid treatment. All this talk about fruit and steroids is making me hungry. And a little resentful. On fruits, I am calling it a draw.
Exercise: Give another shout to the truism. Although you might drop, you might also give me twenty. Breaks you down, and makes you strong.
Vaccines: I am throwing my hands in the air on this one. The reigning school of thought is that vaccines are the miracle that stopped small pox, childhood MMR, and polio. Also available in the world of immunizations are flu shots of varying sorts, chicken pox vaccines, and the all important HPV vaccine. Goody all around, except for the upstart school that claims that vaccines are the cause of all things bad including autism, birth defects, asthma, allergies, diabetes, and even Gulf War syndrome. And do you know how they manufacture these buggers? Kind of gross. And what about all of the super-viruses proliferating due to the extensive overuse of anti-bacterial anything? Are we weakening our bodies, and species as a whole, only to create a race of people dependent on bubble living? Please pardon my small bit of hysteria. I am going to call this for the side of truism, for all of the positive benefits throughout the past century.
Non-Fatal Accidents: By its very definition, it does not kill you. As my mum, or Miss Boom Boom might attest, these things definitely don’t make you stronger. If anything, it leaves you a bit marked up, permanently battered, and in a bit of pain for the rest of your life. You might have a stronger temper, a stronger showing in the “check out this scar” contest, and a stronger ability to sense the weather in your aching bones, but stronger? Perhaps we have a different interpretation, but I know a bunch of folks who would love to set the way back machine on this one.
Chronic Illness: Is this one slowly killing you, or just wearing down your will? Let’s think about it. Herpes? They got something for that. Fibromyalgia? Shrink for that. Brain Cloud? You’re outta luck. My grandma had arthritis, and it kind of blew. Then again, she lived to be ancient, so it wasn’t killing her. It didn’t make her stronger. I’d like to think that if someone fed her this platitude, she would have put all of her 78 pounds behind her crippled fist and hurled it directly into the nose of the well-meaning, though slightly insensitive do-gooder who uttered such nonsense. I miss her. Segue to…
Death: It happens, and it sucks. Death didn’t kill us; just someone we loved too much. Does it make us stronger? Maybe harder. Maybe sadder. Maybe more introspective. Stronger? Nope. Which leads us right to…
Bugs: In small doses, these don’t kill us. Frankly, in small doses, we kill them. Do they make us stronger? Maybe if we eat them. On the other hand, much like the super-flu virus in the making, we might be making them a whole lot stronger. All of the insane insecticides available have been sorting out the weak. Now, there are super duper roaches that can grow to the size of a fist, live in shower stalls, and jump up and eat out your eyes. Did I mention they scared the bejeezus out of me? And while we are talking about phobias…
Marriage: It has been said that people who are married live longer, and yet there is only one member of the party that seems to get stronger. <wink> This goes hand in hand with…
Love: As I’m in a down with love moment, bear with me. Love found makes everything shiny and new. Ugly people are pretty, life is terribly amusing, and you want to clap along with the music. Love lost, well that is something else entirely, isn’t it. If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you anything but stronger. That’s not to say that down the line, everything might not be honky-dory, it’s for the best, blah, blah, blah. All I am saying is that for the most part, it just slowly breaks you until you get over it. And in your weakened state, some pariah takes advantage of the situation and aids in the further atrophy of your soul. When you finally find that “right someone” you are merely a shell of the Glamazon you were before the whole cycle of degradation began. Did I mention that I was in a love bites moment?
So that’s all I want to talk about today. The next time someone tells you that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, give them a paper cut in the eye.