Cousin Shane used to have a quote by Charles R. Swindoll up on his profile: "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it."
We all experience setbacks in our lives. Deaths of loved ones, divorce, illness, financial problems...the woes of humanity are numerous, and the sheer amount of things we could worry about is staggering. However, we have it within us to choose happiness or unhappiness. We all have the innate strength to choose how we react to what life sends our way. Will we learn from our mistakes, move forward, and become stronger for the experience, no matter how traumatic? Or will we continue to make the same mistakes over and over, stew in our own bile, and in the process, become bitter and hateful and miserable? There's a difference between being strong and bitter and being just plain strong.
True strength comes with compassion and dignity, and does not need to ridicule viewpoints with which one disagrees, or to ridicule those who hold those opinions. A strong person will accept the responsibility for their own life and their own outlook, and understand how foolish and counterproductive it is to continue to sabotage their own happiness. A strong person will accept with grace what befalls them, and will exhibit that grace to those around them. A genuinely strong person will show optimism rather than cynicism; joy rather than misery; and decency rather than spite and cruelty. Happiness truly does come from within.
To let setbacks transform you into a bitter, angry, jaded, and cynical harpy is not just sad...it's weak.