Pain

Pain.

Pain is real. Sometimes, for many of us, too real. It can blind us to the wonders of the universe and throw us into a deep, dark hole that we had no hand in making. It is in the darkest moments, when we are alone and without the comfort of human connection or touch where we truly understand. In those moments where even the laughter and camaraderie of social media is insufficient to drown out the ghosts of history past, that is where we are often at our darkest. We have been there. I recognize the pain in the eyes of most people because I recognize myself in them. We are all participating in the form of pain, as the great master would say, to one degree or another.

We reside on a planet full of pain. While you read this message, there are thousands of children dying in an unjust war that started seemingly on the whim of one man. There are soldiers sent to die in a decade long war, armed inadequately and definitely paid insufficiently. There are people who have been raped, an attempt to strip them of their essence.

Those who are unable to cater to their children and the many that are unable to even have the children that they love so much. Children who have to sleep with adults in order to secure a prime spot to beg during peak traffic period. Humans who battle thoughts and images floating through their minds at every given second, “give in”, they whisper.

We know pain, in all its different forms. We see it every single day and we are deliberately blind to it. You see, we have to be. If we were to open up ourselves to the immense pain we see everyday, we would be rendered useless, unable to work, live or experience anything but pain. No, pain may be with us but we do not let it consume us for we are more than content with our own pain, nevermind accommodating the pain of others. So those children dying in that country under assault? It hurts you but you cannot focus on that, you have to hustle, don’t you? You’ll save that for another day.

Blocking ourselves to external waves of pain means we also block ourselves towards the solution. We are resigned to our fate. Very few of us even contemplate the possibility that all this pain might be unnecessary. “What can I do”, he asks during that discussion. There it is, the look of resignation after a rant that, for a second, almost turned into the steely determination that change is built on. But that determination dissolves and soon after, that look replaces it. “That’s just the reality”.

The concept of change hardly even registers anymore. “We just need this old generation to die”, the resignation to the ‘fact’ that their removal is impossible lingers in the air. After all, nothing causes more pain than hope. And boy, has there been hope. The hope of Independence as millions of us celebrated liberation from the clutches of former oppressive masters. No more being called boy or being treated/looked on as worse that dogs. Our country, our dignity. Hope that was very quickly destroyed.

At least three million lives were lost in a war that was largely pointless and absolutely avoidable. The pain of families that never saw their fathers again. Sons, dragged from their families to fight in a war they did not ask for. Daughters who had to be smuggled to far away lands to prevent them being assaulted by soldiers who were supposed to be fighting on their behalf. We have seen pain.

We see people who have claimed to be of the good, holy God they serve, assault the children left in their care. Teachers who are there to impart knowledge, take advantage of their students as though they owed them no obligation.

Ours is a society that has been beaten and bruised, where the choice is not between pain and happiness but between a lot of pain and less pain. Where we are united in pursuit of a target, often a target that is unlike us.

Why does it have to be this way? Why does my pain have to be the conduit through which I view and experience the world. Why is our society like this? Why is kindness so elusive and wickedness seemingly at every corner? If we stop to think about it, the pain will consume us.

Nobody deserves this. And more importantly, nobody is going to fix it for us. We are, quite literally, all we have. We may be okay with protecting ourselves but we cannot merely be enraged at the thought of children going to sleep hungry, we must do something about it. We deserve more than human society is currently able to give which means that we can either lower our expectations or remould the system we currently live into one that works for the benefit of all. We must use our pain as a guide, to illuminate the path.

We are in the endgame, I recognize that. For the first time in recorded history, we have the latent ability to transform the world on a scale that is unprecedented. For the first time “you can change the world” is no longer something that parents can use to motivate their children, it is actually possible.

The human journey has been long and eventful but we FINALLY have the power to not only heal ourselves but heal the pain that world has suffered and has been passed down for generations. “The wound is the place where the light enters” and we are that light.

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Don't ask

Don't ask

My thoughts, like me, are imperfect.