Review of “Adversity Builds Character”, by Tom Ufert

It never struck me as dramatically as it has since I read this book:  we are all shaped by the ups and downs of our lives.  Have you ever thought of how the slings and arrows thrown at you have changed you for the good?  This book by Tom Ufert shows, without any sugar-coating, how very influential every incident in our lives can change us, for the good or the bad.

I found a quote on a bread package, of all things, that made me realize just how adversity can build character.  We have, in our part of the world, a brand of bread known as “Dave’s Killer Bread”.  It is a fantastic product, and it is the brainchild of a convicted felon who, like Mr. Ufert, turned his life around at the nadir of his existence:  “It’s been said adversity introduces a man to himself, and I found this to be true…A whole lot of suffering has transformed an ex-con into an honest man who is doing his best to make the world a better place…”

Mr. Ufert is not an ex-con.   He never spent time behind bars, except for those of his own choosing–addictions, guilt, etc.  In this book, he lays all of his cards on the table.  Except for names that are best kept unknown, Mr. Ufert tells it all–and how he survived.  A deep-seated faith in God was the main reason that he survived himself, plus the support of those around him.  He went through a lot of turmoil, beginning with abuse as a child.

Gender identification–nature or nurture?  Still a debate in the eyes of many.  But to look beyond that to the human, the God-created soul that stands before us, is the final decision.  Mr. Ufert suffered the trauma that surrounded those “in the closet” in the ’80s, and chose to become a stronger person for it.  He never ceases to give God the credit for saving him from himself.

But he also gives us a lot to chew on in our own lives.  I will quote from the very end of the book:  “”My adversity cannot be blamed on the rest of the world, for the rest of the world has adversity too.  My challenge is simply this:  accept your challenges and deal with them–that’s life.  Make our world a better place and our race a little nobler by doing your part to be more charitable and accepting.

Strong words–from, who I believe, is a very strong man.  Thank you, Tom.

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