Adversity does not build character it reveals it !

Adversity does not build character it reveals it !

Adversity reaveals who you are.

There is a well-known fable from Aesop concerning an ant and a grasshopper:

One fine summer day, a grasshopper was hopping about, happily chirping along without a care in the world. An ant passed by, bearing a large ear of corn to its nest.

As the grasshopper continued singing and dancing, it watched the ant scurry back and forth, carrying large burdens on its back. The grasshopper couldn’t understand why the ant would toil on such a beautiful day.

The grasshopper teasingly asked the ant, “Why not come and sing with me, instead of working so hard?”

“I am storing food for the winter,” the ant replied to the grasshopper, “and think you should do the same.” Without a moment’s rest, the ant quickly rushed back to work.

The grasshopper still didn’t see the point. “Why bother? It is such a beautiful day and there is plenty of food,” the grasshopper said with a laugh and spent the remainder of the day singing and dancing.

But as it normally goes, summer soon ended and winter crept over the lands. It turned bitterly cold and frost covered the formerly green fields. With nothing to eat and nowhere to hide, the grasshopper felt the painful pangs of hunger.

Shivering, it looked sadly at the ant inside its cozy shelter, eating comfortably from the stores of corn and grain it had collected in the warmer months.

There are many morals to this fable, but my favorite one comes from a 1768 retelling:

“And in your frolic moods remember,

July is follow’d by December.”

What Happens When the Tide Goes?

The fable of the ant and the grasshopper is a famous one. It’s a simple story that delivers a strong message to readers. While the lesson may seem an obvious one, many of us still fall prey to a lack of preparation when times are good.

It isn’t simply the average individual who forgets to prepare for difficult times. Corporations, banks, and organizations deemed “too big to fail” do exactly that — they fail, massively.

On numerous occasions, Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has said, “It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked.” The investor has written this line through the years in his letters to company shareholders.

By this phrase, he refers to how financial companies have a habit of overextending when the economy is booming, only to lament their decisions when the tide turns the other way. This habit became painfully clear in August 1992, when a powerful hurricane swept through Florida, Louisiana, and the Bahamas.

Hurricane Andrew was the most destructive hurricane to hit Florida. It destroyed over 63,500 houses, left 177,000 people homeless, and caused $27.3 billion in damage. Along with the physical damage that the hurricane caused, it also swept away much of the insurance business.

Over 930,000 policy holders in South Florida lost coverage after 11 insurance companies went bankrupt. Over 600,000 claims were filed, but the insurance companies didn’t have adequate insurance against catastrophe. Other insurance companies scraped by solely because of an infusion of capital from a wealthy parent company.

Had the hurricane not happened, these insurance companies would still be thriving. They would continue to deliver large profits while boasting of their strong underwriting services. But Hurricane Andrew did happen, exposing which insurance companies were swimming naked.

Are You Swimming Naked Everyday?

In your everyday habits, are you swimming naked underneath the tide? Or are you preparing for the inevitable winter season? Are you ready for the worst


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *