We are in a time of great transition, which is reflected by the numerous challenges and hardships people are going through.
It has been said that hardship is necessary for people to grow. Sometimes people use the example of the caterpillar which goes through its laborious transformation to become a beautiful butterfly.
So the premise is that we are presented with challenges so we can rise above them and grow from those experiences.
The one thing I have been struggling with, especially since I have been a parent, is that following that logic, the more challenge and hardship I present to my children and the best and stronger a person they will become.
Not only this is not something I could even do intentionally, but that logic breaks down pretty quickly by just observing people.
It would mean abusing a child for instance will make them stronger. What I see though, seems to be that the more a child is abused and the more chance they end up doing drugs, violence, or worse.

Maybe abuse is too extreme of a challenge, we need some middle ground.
Do you mean something like constantly pushing your child so they get good grades at school, so they can have a better job? Or pushing them very hard into a sport discipline so they could become a champion.
Sure some end up with very good jobs, some end up Olympics athletes. However for each professional athlete how many young adults are left behind feeling disempowered because of the constant pressure when they grew up?

To answer the original question we need to go back to the root. What hardship means?
Life is a succession of experiences. Some experiences are regarded as challenges when we have a difficult situation which we aim to overcome.
Those challenges become hardships when they cause suffering or privation.

However, there is a caveat to that. Those experiences are perceived differently by different people. A hardship for one person could simply be a challenge to another. A challenge could simply be a fun experience. So how or who decides on that perception?
The mind defines it based on previous experiences and interpretation of the outcome of those experiences.
That is where lies the answer to the question. The egoistic mind defines how we perceive the experience.

Does that mean the ego creates hardship? In fact, we could even push the logic a bit further, and realize that the more the ego resists the experience and the more difficult the experience might get.
Imagine someone cut you off on the road, you might get upset with that event and express your disaffection. However, some people might decide to take it further and create road rage. That road rage could turn into an event where someone gets harmed.
On the other hand, after expressing your disaffection, you might realize maybe that person cut you off because they had an emergency with their child sick in the back seat. Would that change your perspective of the situation?

It is almost like the ego creates hardship in order to prove itself, it exists! And in that process, it demonstrates the exact opposite, dissolves and one reconnects with spirit.
On one hand, one needs to be clear from which perspective, ego or spirit, we make a decision in our life.
On the other hand, it seems when we feel suffering, it might mean we identify too strongly with ego.

It is also clear, that there is no purpose to inflict hardship on someone intentionally because that would mean we are god and we know exactly what the other person needs.
However, when one is in a situation that they consider a hardship, it might be important to consider how much we have contributed to being in that situation and what was the decision which leads us to those circumstances. Maybe we are not as innocent as we would like to believe and maybe our wrong identification with ego is a factor in us ending up in that situation.

Would that mean, the more we identify with spirit and the less we experience hardship? Maybe, that is up to each one of us to experience and find out.