Joint Base Charleston


Shine like a diamond: How daily pressures can produce shining products

By Master Sgt. Tiffany Robinson | 17th Airlift Squadron first sergeant | June 19, 2013

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Diamonds are formed deep within the Earth about 100 miles or so below the surface in the upper mantle. This environment is extremely hot, with immense pressure bearing down from the overlying layers of rock. The combination of extremely high temperatures and pressure is what's necessary to form crystals. The substance of these crystal formations is bound together by pressure to form very strong covalent bonds that eventually become diamonds. Diamonds are treasured stones known for their absolute strength and are irrefutably one the hardest materials found in nature.

Like forming crystals, day to day, each of us faces various forms of pressure. Whether your pressure (stressor) is derived from personal or professional circumstances, it is not designed to negatively affect your composition, but to enrich it so that you become a stronger and more resilient member of society and this great nation. It is imperative to note that the initial form of a diamond is extremely rough, jagged and seemingly unappealing to the naked eye. The process of refining a diamond to become a thing of beauty requires a series of processes that ends with a brilliant, polished and valuable product.

Much like a diamond, you are polished through the perfect storm of environmental influences. These influences sometimes consist of people (i.e. trusted mentors or leaders), career development opportunities or even utilizing available helping agencies. Unlike the diamond deep beneath the surface, you are in control of your refinement. Start by surrounding yourself with positive people. Perhaps, a great supervisor or your First Sergeant; the choice is yours to make.

In closing, I challenge each of you to not allow the pressures or stressors of daily life break you. Your trials and tribulations should facilitate an ongoing process of building resilience and personal strength instead. Seek out willing mentors or helping agencies that will help polish and refine your substance. I challenge each of you to... shine bright like a diamond.

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