Quotes: Misery Builds Character

Real Life

"What doesn't kill us makes us stronger."

"Is despair an excellence or a defect? Purely dialectically, it is both. If only the abstract idea of despair is considered, without the thought of someone in despair, it must be regarded as a surpassing excellence. Consequently, to be able to despair is an infinite advantage over the beasts, and yet to be in despair is not only the worst misfortune and miser; no, it is ruination!"
SÝren Kierkegaard

"Out of suffering emerge the strongest souls. The most massive characters are seared with scars."
Kahlil Gibran

Gregg: Pronounced differences in solar timing made me understand why seasonal cycles played such a role in European mythology.
Drew: Oh my God, itís true. When Francisco says ďFor this relief much thanks: 'tis bitter cold, And I am sick at heart.Ē at the beginning of Hamlet, itís because Denmark is, indeed, cold! Thatís quite something! But tell me, Greggggggg, how might I apply this new learning to modern ethical lapses?
Gregg: Going back to cool buildings and early bedtimes in winter might be good for our national health.
Drew: Who made this person? How does a person come to be like this? If hanging out in warm buildings and going to bed late helps PREVENT me from being like Greggggggg, Iím all for it.

"Finally, I want to congratulate all the fans. We have a proud tradition in Chicago of believing that no matter how long it takes, how much we have to endure, it's only a matter of time before our team finally wins it all. The waiting builds character. We have a lot of character."
Barack Obama, receiving his hometown Chicago Blackhawks on the White House after they ended a 49 year Stanley Cup drought

"But in all, it builds character for both hubby and I. It taught us to be frugal and when we have more money, it was much more enjoyable spending them. There wasn't credit card debt to tie us down or any loans to give us sleepless nights."

"Now, if there's going to be another recession. I say bring it on. It may be tough but people will come out of it much wiser."

Fiction

"In order for [my son] to be a responsible adult, he has to be miserable now!"
Red, That '70s Show

Penny: Without that show, I have nothing!
Prudy: Having nothing builds character!

"Suffering is food for the soul. NOW SUFFER!"
Evilene, The Wiz

I don't need luck though, I don't want it. I've always had to struggle and fight and that's made me strong. Its made me who I am.

"No-one is born wise. We get that way only by enduring."
Loghain, Dragon Age: Origins

"Calvin, go do something you hate! Being miserable builds character!"
Calvin, doing an impression of his father, Calvin and Hobbes

"If one were to say what it is to do good, in a single word it would be to endure suffering. Not enduring is bad without exception."
Yamamoto Tsumetomo, paraphrasing Master Issei, Hagakure: The Book of Samurai

"The stone cannot know why the chisel cleaves it; the iron cannot know why the fire scorches it. When thy life is cleft and scorched, when death and despair leap at thee, beat not thy breast and curse thy evil fate, but thank the Builder for the trials that shape thee."
The Hammer Book of Tenets, Thief: The Dark Project

"If you're ever gonna find a silver lining, it's gotta be a cloudy day.
Kacey Musgraves, "Silver Lining"

Maggie Holt: You gotta own the past, donít you? Own the bad parts as well as the good. Let it make you stronger.
Blake Thorburn: What doesnít kill you makes you stronger?
Maggie: Yes. Exactly.
Blake: I always hated that phrase. No. What doesnít kill you makes you weaker.
Pact

Edd: Should we feel worried about Jonny's predicament?
Eddy: Nah! You know what they say, a little childhood trauma builds character.
— The first episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy

Kramer: You know when you hold it in like that you can cause a lot of damage to your bladder. That's what happens to truck drivers. They hold it in all the time. Eventually it starts coming out involuntarily.
Jerry: Alright.
Kramer: Jerry, are you aware that adult diapers are a six hundred million dollar a year industry?
Jerry: Maybe I should just go anytime I get the urge like you... wherever I am. There's too much urinary freedom in this society. I'm proud to hold it in. It builds character.
Seinfeld, "The Parking Garage"