• author
    • Donald Sanders

    • December 21, 2017 in Columnists

    A guide to pain

    Pain is a beautiful thing. Think about how life would be without pain. When we don’t have it, we don’t think much about it. But when we do have it, it’s all we think about. Pain is a personal thing. I don’t know how, but I suppose there are ways to share your pain with someone else. There are times when everyone you love has pain at the same time but they can’t feel yours and you can’t feel theirs.

    At times I have found myself wanting to take pain from others. For instance, there aren’t a whole lot of things I would want to take from my son or grandson, but I would surely take their pain if I could. As a matter of fact, the mere thought of wishing to take pain from a child will give you pain, especially when you find that it cannot be done no matter how hard you try.

    Seeing your children in pain is probably the hardest thing about parenting. In the right circumstance, it can kill you. I’ll tell you a short story that happens to be true. The subject of the story is how even children can take pain under different situations.

    My wife and I happened to be window shopping in some town around Jackson, California. I’m not sure what town it was, but that’s not important anyway. As we walked, there was a loud crash of two cars slamming into each other right behind us. Instantly I ran to see if I could help. In one car there was a small boy and an elderly couple. I assumed they were his grandparents. The boy was screaming at the top of his lungs, a gash in his right hand spewing blood.

    I checked the grandfather first. He didn’t look good but the grandmother looked even worse. They were both in a panic and worried about the screaming boy. I thought maybe they were close to  heart attacks, so I went to the passenger seat and looked at the boy’s injuries. I wrapped the boy’s hand with a piece of cloth from the seat next to him. It didn’t stop him from screaming.

    Worried about the grandparents, I made the boy look at me and then I said, “I need you to man up and stop screaming.”

    I told him he was scaring his grandparents so much I thought they might be having heart attacks. His screaming subsided and became more of a low crying wail. The boy understood the nature of pain almost instantly and didn’t want to share it with his grandparents.

    I have been around pain all of my life and I have found that there are two types — physical and mental. Physical pain is temporary, for the most part, but mental pain often never goes away. We all have pain. It comes into everyone’s life at one time or another. It can affect the way we behave and others often misunderstand our behavior in different ways. For instance, they might think we are rude or that we just don’t like them. It happens all the time, so don’t be so quick to judge others, for they might just be in a lot of pain.

    I once was a soldier, so that puts me in a group of people who have a lot of mental anguish. And I still feel pain from things that happened to me as a small child in a Catholic orphanage. Couple that pain with pain I endured while in the Republic of Vietnam as a young adult, and pow,  you see one screwed up guy who seems lost in space every time you see me. A soldier’s pain will never go away, so we handle it as well as we can. I still have a wallet I made from a kit given to me to occupy my time while in a military suicide ward. I’ll show it to you if you like.

    I wish I could tell you more about pain. But all I know is what it is and how you can spot it in others. A general rule to remember about pain is the fact that when someone strikes out at you, it’s usually because they are in pain. So have a little heart and think before you strike back. A few kind words can work miracles in those situations.

    I’ll end this with a few words of wisdom that I thought up myself.

    Never mind, I forgot already!

      • Maya Spier Stiles North

      • December 31, 2017 at 7:16 pm
      • Reply

      You can share pain to be supportive, as loving people do for each other or you can share it by abuse as my parents did with me — they passed on what they got. We have to somehow evolve to become the first and leave that second one behind. <3

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