Many people in Nigeria believe that there’s always something to take out from every situation, something like a lesson; whether moral or not. It’s usually moral though. Not me. There is this quote that I have seen so many times on the internet that it seems like an ad now, “There are two types of pain, one that hurts you and the one that changes you.” I prefer the version of this quote from the fictional character Frank Underwood, from the television series, House of Cards, “there are two kinds of pain, the sort of pain that makes you strong, or useless pain; the sort of pain that is only suffering.”
When our friends or loved ones are in pain, we sometimes try to rationalize it or try to pull out moral lessons from the situation. A bank manager or a business person has an accident and loses both of his or her legs; some people would try to make him feel guilty for not being grateful for being alive.
I would sincerely like to understand the thought process of people that think like this or people that say things like that. Or maybe I don’t, I want them to stay as far away from me as possible.
If you are one of those people that think that there is always a lesson in every misfortune, this paragraph is dedicated to you. People learn from mistakes and not something they had no control over in the first place. What does a cancer patient learn from his sickness? This very life we live is full of unfortunate events and some of it is actually beyond our control.
I know that there is something like useless pain, that type that is so gut wrenching, the victims barely have enough time to process it. Or the entire situation is just too traumatic for them to even think about, how are they supposed to learn from it or even take away anything from it?
Pain and suffering changes people, so normally they are going to change after a traumatic experience. Don’t act surprised, it is just the natural order of things. Different people react differently to the same situation, so there is no manual for dealing with pain or suffering. The best thing you can do as someone looking in from the outside is to offer encouragement and support.
The bulk of the work is left for the person suffering to do; most times it will be slow and there will be tears and even more pain but if you have the opportunity to care for someone recovering from a traumatic experience, you have a delicate affair on your hands, it is almost as if you are raising a child but I can argue that this is even more serious so it should be treated as such.