“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Seems like I hear this phrase a lot lately. I don’t use it, because I’m not sold on it. But for years, I’ve heard others say it with conviction. Kanye squeezed a hit out of it.
Toyota is using the Kelly Clarkson tune for the 2012 Camry campaign.
Christopher Hitchens confirmed my uneasiness with his essay on the subject in Vanity Fair. “Before I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer a year and a half ago, I rather jauntily told the readers of my memoirs that when faced with extinction I wanted to be fully conscious and awake, in order to “do” death in the active and not the passive sense. And I do, still, try to nurture that little flame of curiosity and defiance: willing to play out the string to the end and wishing to be spared nothing that properly belongs to a life span. However, one thing that grave illness does is to make you examine familiar principles and seemingly reliable sayings. And there’s one that I find I am not saying with quite the same conviction as I once used to: In particular, I have slightly stopped issuing the announcement that “Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.”