Kites rise highest against the wind; not with it (Winston Churchill)
On December 29, 1987, Soviet cosmonaut Aleksandr Aleksandrov returned to the earth after 326 days in orbit. He was in good health; this was not always the case for cosmonauts. In 1982, after being in space for 211 days, Anatoli Berezovoy and Valentin Lebedev suffered from dizziness, high pulse rates, and heart palpitations. They couldn´t walk for a week, and after 30 days, they were still undergoing therapy for atrophied muscles and weakened hearts. At zero gravity, the muscles of the body begin to waste away due to a lack of resistance against them. To counteract this, the Soviets prescribed a vigorous exercise program for the cosmonauts. They invented the penguin, a running suit laced with elastic bands that resists every move the cosmonauts make, forcing them to exert their strength.
At a time when honesty and rugged individuality was a virtue in America Philip Brooks wrote, “Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger men and women. Do not pray for a lighter load but for a strong back. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers, but pray for power equal to your tasks.” This ideology strengthened the hearts of men and women who were working diligently at creating a bright future for themselves and their children in this country. But we are distancing ourselves from that mindset which caused men to be men, women to be women and young people to respect their parents and work. We have abandoned the strong spiritual values and morals passed down to us by our founding fathers. We pray not for a lighter load but for a stronger pill. We often long dreamily for days without difficulty, but God knows better. The easier our life, the weaker our spiritual fiber, for strength of any kind grows only by exertion. This is true of astronauts and cosmonauts—and people in general.
Prosperity does best discover vice, but adversity does best discover virtue (Francis Bacon). What does not kill you makes you stronger is an old adage from by-gone days. Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would lay dormant (Horace). Our muscles grow strong with use; as does every other part of our being: heart, mind and soul. James, the brother of Christ, writes (Living Bible), “Dear friends, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.”
Submitted 11/14/2008 2:43:56 PM | Author: Dan Turpin