Up to that point in my life, I had thought of hardships as inexplicable events happening to me and others and viewed strength as the ability to endure these unwanted circumstances. Such endurance is certainly a strength.
Serving enables us to step beyond our own desires and to release any sense of separation. It takes us out of selfishness and neediness, and in the process we see our own self-centeredness in greater perspective.
If you espouse the belief that this world is somehow a classroom and we, as souls, are here to learn, then you probably appreciate the law of karma as an exquisite design to tailor our lessons to our own personal needs.
Everything we say and do determines what's going to happen to us in the future. Whether we act honestly, dishonestly, help or hurt others, it all gets recorded and manifests as a karmic reaction either in this life or a future life.