Quotes Challenge #1 – What Doesn’t Kill You

I was nominated to take the 3 Days 3 Quotes challenge by amusing2write, who you should go visit. And here’s my quote for Day 1.

quote day 1

Picture of South Lake Tahoe in January 2014.

“They say what doesn’t kill us
Makes us who we are.” ~ What If It Was You by Motion City Soundtrack

This is not one of my all time favorite songs, but I think it’s my favorite quote. It perfectly encompasses the intention behind the hackneyed motivational slogan while also inclusive of the usual comebacks. Merely saying that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger is problematic if you look at it literally.

“Lots of stuff that doesn’t kill you makes you weaker. My friend’s grandfather had a heart attack. Now he needs a machine to breathe.” ~ Manny Delgado, Modern Family s. 1 e. 17

I do often take things too literally, which I know is a character flaw, but even so I like the more straightforward version. It says that whatever experiences you have, whatever you walk away from, you carry it with you. That may be a good thing or that may be a bad thing, but either way it happens. Even if you let it go later on, the weight still affected where you went while you carried it. We’re made up of nature and nurture and all the things we’ve ever carried.

I’ve seen this idea repeated in other words in books, but most strongly I think by Terry Pratchett.

Our blood is as salty as the sea we used to live in! When we’re frightened, the hair on our skin stands up, just like it did when we had fur. We are history! Everything we’ve ever been on the way to becoming us, we still are. […]

I’m made up of the memories of my parents and my grandparents, all my ancestors. They’re in the way I look, in the colour of my hair. And I’m made up of everyone I’ve ever met who’s changed the way I think.” ~ A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett

In this one I especially like the mention of “the way I think.” As people, our characters are largely built upon everything we experience, but that is so, so subjective. The way you carry things makes a difference, positively or negatively — that’s why I’m working on my gratitude practice. I don’t know how much of a difference it will ultimately make in my life, but it seems important to remember the good things that make me who I am as well as the sad, angry, and anxious things.


The rules of this quote challenge are:

  • Post on three consecutive days
  • Post one to three quotes per day
  • Challenge three different bloggers each day

Today I nominate the following. Check out these blogs!

2 thoughts on “Quotes Challenge #1 – What Doesn’t Kill You

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