I think that we can use our experiences, good and bad, to define us, but I am afraid that I would be more than happy to trade the very painful experiences. 8 years as a prisoner of war, and torture...I would gladly trade.
I remember a couple of situations in my life which were tough to bear, but once they were beyond me I could appreciate the value of the lesson learned. But 8 years of torture and humiliation with no let up and no promise of "this too shall pass" ...... No comparison. I am humbled by this man.