For millions of people around our world, facing and surviving hardship has given rise to enduring tales of courage in the face of improbable odds, and to a wisdom that can only emerge from difficulty, loss and suffering.  In this new series of stories, individuals share wisdom gained through their experiences with a view to inspiring all of us to become more resilient and able to build a better life in times of uncertainty and adversity.

We invite you to take a few moments to watch and listen, and be inspired.

CMCCF in partnership with our global contacts is launching the Wisdom of Hardship, a series of inspiring stories from those who have overcome adversity prior to the COVID 19 pandemic. The series explores the values that helped them weather profound change, and learn lessons that could potentially help others through the current crisis.

While our Wisdom of Hardship stories are filled with a sense of optimism, faith and hope we also recognize that each story may produce a variety of feelings, thoughts and personal recollections of your own life experiences. To assist you in processing these stories, we invite you to listen to this meditation which has been created by Rhona Graham, a member of our team in Scotland.

Tor Eneroth, Director of Cultural Transformation for the Barrett Values Centre and a member of our team from Sweden, provides tips on self reflection as you watch and listen to our various storytellers. It is our hope that these tips will assist you in learning from the stories and help to connect the lessons learned and values shared to your own life.

We have developed a generous and evolving partnership with the Foundation for the Promotion of Education in Vienna Austria. This video was provided by Professor Fritz and Nora Plank, who are members of this initiative’s Creation Team. They are our link to the German speaking world in the European Community.

Diverse as we think we are, living through hardship is what we all share. Were it not for our special gift to overcome and learn from impairment and life-threatening experiences, we would be truly lost. This world-wide initiative enlists help and support from women and men who themselves suffered from extreme hardship during their lives, and have grown from it. We are convinced that we can all learn from them and invite you to contribute as best as you can. This video introduces Ernst Gehmacher, now 94, who in his younger years had opposed the NAZI dictatorship.  It is truly worth listening to what he has to say.

Born in Xinjiang, Selina was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa in early childhood, forcing her to leave school in junior secondary and stay at home. Determined to be independent, she began to study massage therapy and acupuncture in Hong Kong, an 80 hour train ride away. Selina’s story shows how perseverance, self-determination, encouragement and the support of others helped her overcome challenges.

Here is the story of Omar, a young man who has lived through the chaos, violence, and strife of civil war in his home country. Omar’s story will demonstrate to us how his resilience, strength, and the words of his mother have guided his life both through his times of challenge but also his current life here in Canada. Omar shares with us how both these past experiences and his long held values of compassion and understanding for others have contributed immensely to the person he is today.

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