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Whatever doesn’t kill you…

Once Nietzsche famously said that ‘whatever doesn’t kill you simply makes you stronger.’ However true it is I feel it is in incomplete.  Yes, the most challenging and hard experiences do make you stronger. But many times they also kill something inside you. The hardship helps you develop a strong shell outside, but the damage already done inside will remain with you for lifetime. And this damage will define who you are for rest of your life.

Full Metal Jacket

Goodbye my sweet heart, Hello Vietnam. A still from ‘Full Metal Jacket’

Actually hardship can have strange and vivid effects on person. A best example is young men going for war. They experience more hardship in a few days, than of their all previous life. Actually a ruthless training is given to him to make them stronger. And of course it makes them stronger, but is it free of cost? No, it take something out of them. Someone can survive that and someone cannot. When I first saw the film ‘Full Metal Jacket’, I didn’t realized this thought. Like many other thoughts, this one was also not emphasized much. The name refers to the standard type of ammunition used by soldiers in war. The film is situated at marine corps training center in the first half and in Vietnam for the second. But now,  it occurs to me that the name ‘Full Metal jacket’ may have a hidden meaning of developing a strong jacket or shell. So that the hardship of war, when you see your colleagues die in front of you, do not impair your ability to react, to fight. It surely have a meaning of turning a man (or boy), in to a killing machine. If trauma caused by pain and suffering is at the core of this movie, another movie, ‘The Hurt Locker’ explores a completely different situation; where pain and suffering of war becomes an addiction and one cannot leave without that any more.

the hurt locker

The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug.

To sum it all up , it is true that suffering and loss makes one stronger, while happiness and love makes one weak. As Nikki Lauda says in ‘The Rush’, “Happiness is the enemy, it weakens you. Suddenly you have something to loose“. A man with nothing to lose is unbeatable. But here the important thing is, life is not only about being strong, it’s about enjoying it. It’s good to be weak, if you enjoy it.

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