Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Pain and Suffering, a Universal
I hurt my toe on Saturday. It was really bad. I was playing 4-square in the lobby of my dorm. For those that are not familiar with the game of 4-square, it is a game in which there are four squares and a ball. You hit the ball into other squares and if the ball lands outside the squares, hits the inside lines, hits the vortex of doom, bounces more then once or hits someone while they are inside a square, they are out.
How did I hurt my toe? Well I hit the ball really hard, but in the process doing so, I ran into another player and hit my foot on the floor and somehow a lot of skin peeled back from my toe-nail to underneath my foot. Thank goodness my nerves stopped working for a while so I cut away the skin that had peeled back. It hurt, a lot. It was painful, and I suffered. Suffering happens every day in the world. Most recently, a magnitude-7.0 earthquake hit Haiti. Some are saying almost 500,000 are dead. The Haitian president, Rene Preval, says there are around 100,000 dead. A arch-bishop is dead. People working for the U.N. are dead. Government officials are dead. The national palace crumbled. Churches crumbled. The prison crumbled. U.S. Citizens from the U.S. embassy were air-lifted to military hospitals. It doesn't matter if you're of the church or a criminal, you could have gotten hurt.
The cut on my toe compared to the suffering that is occurring in Haiti is small, but they are both similar in that they both hurt, a lot. One of the few universals in the world is that everyone goes through pain and suffering though in different degrees. What can we do when things are just falling apart? We watch our own lives crumbling and then see it physically happen to whole countries.
Some deal with the result of suffering, pain, by blaming others, some say God doesn't exist, others resign themselves to despair and some claim to "suck it up." Whatever choice one makes, pain still hurts and suffering keeps on rolling, like the sun moving through the sky.
You really can't do anything about pain. You can't stop it from happening. And no one can. Yes, it can be lessened with safety precautions and coping techniques. It happens to everyone though, that's one of the things that binds all things on earth, we all experience pain and suffering.
Just one further note about Haiti, it is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, 80% are below the poverty line.