(Photo credit: M-J Milloy)
Lorelle VanFossen of “Lorrelle on WordPress” (an excellent blog on blogging and WordPress) is currently running a series of blog exercises.
The one from earlier today starts:
You know, the number one thing we want to avoid in life is pain. But at the same time, it’s the number one thing that forces us to grow as human beings. It deepens our ability to feel empathy, turns knowledge into wisdom. And there was enough pain in this situation that I think in a lot of ways it can turn you into a better person.
This is a quote from Damien Echols, one of the West Memphis Three. Now he had a bunch of terrible stuff happen and he suffered for many years. I’m not surprised he has tried hard to find some good out of all that pain, it may have been the only thing that kept him sane.
Today’s Blog Exercise is to explore what that quote means to you.
It is the truth. We want to avoid pain, but it is the pain that makes us grow, as human beings as well as compassionate members of society. It turns knowledge into wisdom. We must learn from our mistakes in order to grow.
It is through pain and suffering that we find courage, motivation, and inspiration to move forward in our lives. Pain, and the avoidance of pain, directs our path.
Publish a post on how pain in your life, the struggles, the challenges, have made you a better person and impacted who you are and how you blog.
Well I’m sorry Lorelle, I call b#llsh#t. I just totally disagree with the premise. It’s not truth. Pain is pain, it doesn’t necessarily make you grow and you can grow without pain. It’s perfectly possible to direct your path without pain or the avoidance of pain. Experience of all types creates wisdom and knowledge has nothing to do with wisdom. We can learn from our successes and even grow from them.
Do you want an example? I’m a loving and devoted father and I have learnt so much from the experience. Being a father is one of the major things that has directed my path for the last twenty years. The mutual love of my daughter and myself has given me more courage, motivation and inspiration than any of the pain and suffering I have experienced.
Here’s another from the other side of the ledger. I suffer from chronic asthma, I can have attacks that last for days of pain. I have done so for fifty years, any possible learning or wisdom (and I don’t think there has been any) would have been many, many years ago. Asthma may have directed my path a little, it had a physical effect on my body when I was young keeping me thin and scrawny but I may have been a little thin and scrawny anyway, my mother was always thin without any asthma.
I wonder where we get this ennobling of pain and suffering? Is it part of the baggage of our Christian culture? The ethos of you can suffer in this world because the next is paradise. Or is it that humanity wants a reason for everything. If we have to suffer and feel pain there must be a reason for it, there must be something on the good side of the ledger. Then we have the concept of reincarnation, that we suffer in this life to make up for the sins of a previous one and to make us better for a better life next time.
Well folks, I have to tell you that the universe isn’t built that way. A lot of things happen without that sort of reason. A lot of bad things just happen without any benefit at the time or in the future, they just happen.
What do you think?