“We don’t seek the painful experiences that hew our identities, but we seek our identities in the wake of painful experiences.”
“Forge meaning and build identity: Forging meaning is about changing yourself; building identity is about changing the world.”
“We cannot bear a pointless torment, but we can endure great pain if we believe that it’s purposeful.”
“Ease makes less of an impression on us than struggle.”
“We could have been ourselves without our delights, but not without the misfortunes that drive our search for meaning.”
“Identity itself should be not a smug label or a gold medal but a revolution.”
—Andrew Solomon, from his TED Talk, “How the Worst Moments In Our Lives Make Us Who We Are.” Solomon is a writer on politics, culture, and psychology. He is a regular contributor to NPR, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and other publications. His book, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2001 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2002.