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What does pain teach us in life?

What does pain teach us in life?

Human beings have a constant quest for happiness. This constant quest for happiness makes us averse to pain to such an extent that we human beings often neglect or overlook the bigger perspective pain teaches us in life.

However, before having a look at those perspectives, let us look at how pain drives our lives. Whether we like the fact or not, but to a very large extent pain drives our lives. Let’s look at some examples to understand this.

Forgetting the key:

Most door locks are auto-locks these days and in such a case if we forget the keys inside, and there is no backup, then it can be a real nightmare to get someone to open the door and get the key as it disrupts the schedule. However, one such experience will teach us to be more careful about keeping the key with ourselves while leaving the house.

Missing the train:

This one dreads most people and many people have a habit of keeping some buffer before reaching the railway station in time. However, there are some people who work on zero or negative buffer. And then one fine day, when they miss their train due to this habit, and the trip is ruined, the pain of that sets many people straight and they learn to keep some buffer.

While the above were some trivial examples of how small pain points in life teach us to be more careful, vigilant, prudent and contingent in life, let us now proceed to look at some more harsher and stark realities of life which resulted in social transformations.

The emergence of “Community Centers” for men is a recent phenomenon. Community centers are like meet-ups for men where men can gather and share their experiences of life. Now, given the male psyche and the social stereotypes around men, it is very unlikely that men would end up at a community center, sharing their experiences with each other and listening to each other’s experiences in life.

But, there are some realities of life which go beyond comprehension and understanding and are sometimes breakthroughs. The pain undergone by “A few Good Men” was enough to tell them the magnanimity and the gravity of the pain that it surpassed personal boundaries and transcended into a social catastrophe in making and it ultimately led to the emergence and establishment of Community centers for men in India wherein victimized and distressed men can talk about their pain, share it with their fellow beings and muster courage to endure it or reduce it.

So, what the pain all about that those few good men underwent? It was the pain of being subjected to injustice, being discriminated in the society on the basis of them being men and the pain of seeing their basic fundamental rights being infringed upon, in a systematic manner. It was the pain of innocent men being slapped with serious but false criminal accusations and being made to pay the price for being men.

These few good men then realized that this was not at all their individual problem but a much generic issue to which every man was vulnerable. In a bid to challenge this state sponsored institutionalized discrimination against men, these men set up these community centers to form teams who can sensitize the social mindset with the problems of the male world. And at the same time, lend a helping hand to men who are being subjected to injustice, discrimination, harassment, torture and abuse from anyone.

So, what does pain teach us in life?

Pain teaches us the higher perspectives of life. When the pain is very intense, it defines certain pivot points in our lives which play an important role in shaping the course of our lives from thereon. Pain, when taken in the right stride, enables us to rise above the level of the problem which causes pain and then look for a solution to it.

In fact, pain is the acronym for “Positive Attitude in Negativity”. Pain tells us that there are certain higher level paradigms where we need to elevate ourselves in order to get a clearer picture of realities and perceptions around us.

So, the next questions that arise are,

“If pain has so many advantages, why do we dread it?”

“Why are we so averse to experience pain?”

“Why do we become paranoid in a bid to avoid pain?”

The answer to that is very simple. We constantly seek happiness. Freedom is also a form of happiness as it tells us we have broken the shackles and bounds. But, what we forget is that,

Freedom comes with a price often we aren’t willing to pay

Similarly, happiness comes with a price often we aren’t willing to pay. That price is pain. And therefore, our constant quest for happiness in itself becomes painful as we continually try to avoid paying the price. It becomes a vicious circle and we just focus on pain which keeps on growing.

However, the moment we see that pain is the precursor to happiness and is the price we pay to get it, we rise above it and get to the higher dimension wherein the very journey through pain becomes the path to happiness. That’s where the vicious circle breaks.

This is what pain teaches us in life. And that is the reason, if we carefully observe, our life revolves around pain and since we are not willing to pay the price, we don’t get happiness and the pain persists.

The moment, we accept pain as the price to happiness, pain recedes and our reality of life also changes. However, the choice is with us. On one hand, we can continue to be righteous and say, we don’t need pain in life, while on the other hand, we can be benevolent and embrace pain with love as the price to achieve happiness and be bestowed upon with a life changing consciousness that transcends the normal perimeters of human existence.

  1. Pain tells us to be resilient in life.
  2. Pain tells us that it is important to break our narrow perceptions of realities around life.
  3. Pain tells us life is uncertain.
  4. Pain tells us that we need to be more open about things not going our way or we meeting obstacles in our path.
  5. Pain tells us to embrace these obstacles as stepping stones and rise to higher levels in life.
  6. Pain gives us an opportunity to improve our lives
  7. Pain tells us to develop empathy towards fellow beings.
  8. Pain gives us courage to endure tough times and an understanding of other people’s world.
  9. Pain tells us what matters in life and what doesn’t, for a truly satisfactory life.
  10. Pain allows us to develop acceptance which makes us more amenable to unforeseen changes.

All these things, and many other things, pain can teach us provided, we are ready to learn and we are ready to pay the price to achieve happiness. Because as the famous Zen adage goes, “Only, when the student is ready, the teacher shall appear”.

Pain teaches us to learn throughout life.