Make pain work for you
By Jean Ricot Dormeus
The story of Ashlyn Blocker of California points to the value of pain in our lives. One day, 13 year old Ashlyn who could not feel pain dipped her right hand into a boiling pot of ramen noodles to retrieve a spoon. She got burned without feeling anything. Her mother had to take care of the burn on the hand of the happy child and to remain vigilant to prevent further occurrences. Some pain would have helped Ashlyn to prevent cuts, burns and other injuries.
Pain protects us as a good ally, setting off an alarm to withdraw from danger or rectify a harmful situation. The noise of a fire alarm may be annoying, but it helps us to take measures to prevent a fire.
Pain also performs the function of progress indicator. When we begin exercising for a marathon, we run out of breath quickly. We build resistance to the pain by taking some extra steps despite our discomfort. The same goes for the habit of reading. In short, the longer it takes to feel unbearable pain when we practice a skill, the more advanced we have become in our field.
Unnecessary pain should be avoided though. Masochism or gratification from pain elevates no one to heroism. If a social environment becomes irremediably toxic to the point of inducing continuing useless suffering, then the time has come to consider your options and sign up for better company or network. Likewise, you benefit from the habit of not inflicting pain on other people.
Understanding pain is crucial to managing it. Are you trying to shun pain at all costs? Then how will you reach the top of the ladder or the summit of the mountain? Make pain work for you.
Jean Ricot Dormeus
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