Dealing with Adversity


by Simon Jacobson

There are four different approaches in dealing with adversity:

1) Escapists
2) Conformists
3) Fighters
4) Believers

Which type are you?

Would you believe that all four options are limited?

The first time in history when a people were “stuck between a rock and a hard place” was when the Jewish people stood before the Reed Sea with the Egyptians pursuing them close behind. What to do? The people were divided into four groups:

Some said: “Let’s jump into the sea; it’s simply not worth the effort.”

Others argued with resignation: “We should return to Egypt where we lived for so many years. True, we were enslaved, but anything is better than this stuck place where we will either be killed by the Egyptians or drown in the sea. And besides, a know evil is better than an unknown one. The challenges of life are just too overwhelming. Conformity, surrender, assimilation is the only realistic option.”

Yet another group felt: “Let us go to war with the Egyptians.”

And finally the “religionists: stated: “Let us pray to God”
All were wrong. Not only conformity and escapism, but also battle and prayer are not complete options. Was life given to us so that we spend most of our time at war? And is prayer enough when faced with challenge? We are blessed with resources to deal with every challenge. So coupled with prayer we must do our utmost to rise to the occasion.

What was the correct approach: “Move forward.

And when they did, the sea parted before them.

G-d told them: “I who have given you life, and promised you that you can and will achieve your objectives and reach Sinai and the Promised Land, have also given you all the faculties and resources necessary to fulfill your life’s mission.

“When faced with challenge, with adversity, with the difficulties each of us encounter in life, instead of spending time ruminating about any or all of these four options, instead of being paralyzed by doubt, FORGE AHEAD. Movement is the key to success. Moving forward will bring a breakthrough. How we may not always know. But move – and things will open up.


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15 years ago

I really needed to hear such a simple and straight forward answer. I have recently gone through alot. Moving forward even though I didnt know where that possibility would come from allowed me to start questioning where to look and I found two possibilites.
Thank you for writing about the four possibilities and then the fifth. I need to keep my focus on my life on moving forward. God bless you.

12 years ago

I often escape or conform. Moving ahead is hard when you work with people that constantly hold you back. In an environment like this, in order to move forward it feels like you have to fight.

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