Recently, while talking to one of my friends about challenges in life, he gave me an analogy that really struck a chord. He said that people are like eggs and potatoes. Some of soft on the inside and some are hard. And life’s challenges are like boiling water. You put an egg in one and it comes out hard. You put a potato in one and it comes out soft. The idea being that it is hard to tell how someone will react to an experience in life.
I had a friend H, growing up. He used to live a few blocks away. His father passed away while we were in 7th or 8th grade. He, along with his siblings, transformed into these gentlemen who it seemed like they can shoulder any responsibility. He became exceedingly conscious about taking care of their illiterate mother. They married off their eldest sister but a year later, their brother-in-law, serving in Army, was shot dead somewhere in the south province of Pakistan, Sindh. For the next few months the incident made H very depressed and bitter about life but he came through. He is serving in Pakistan Army now, I wish I knew where.
We both had a mutual friend R, two years older than us. His father passed away when we were getting ready for Matric exams (10the grade, if I remember correctly). After that, we hardly stayed friends. He became rude and got himself in all kinds of trouble. Last I heard about him was when I visited Pakistan in year 2000 and he was on bail on murder charges.
As human beings, we are far more complex. What is common is that everyone has challenges in life and they affect us, one way or another.