We love inspirational quotes to help us through challenging times, and this is one of the classics. My late father had another favorite -“Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things” (Henry Ward Beecher). The common theme in these and others – “Now sucks – tomorrow will be better.” – is comforting until you remember all the times when tomorrow was worse.
Consider Friedrich Nietzsche himself. When he was 24, Nietzsche began a 10 year term as the youngest ever to hold the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel, an appointment that health problems forced him to resign. At the age of 44 a collapse and complete loss of mental faculties left him with few options. He was cared for by his mother and sister until his death in 1900 of brain cancer. He was also known for proclaiming “God is dead”, which reduced his options even further.
For Nietzsche, each day was pretty much worse than the last, which made perfect sense to Sigmund Freud. Hardship and suffering are here to stay, Freud insisted, and reassuring sayings are probably not going away any time soon. It is unclear whether Nietzsche’s life inspired him, but Freud was also a member of the “God is dead” fraternity, choosing to eschew his own difficulties with the saving grace of cocaine.