On Pain

Pain kind of sucks.  I’m pretty sure we can all agree on that.

Sometimes, though, pain (especially the emotional kind) can  be very useful. In Brandon Sandeson’s Stormlight Archive, the heroes have to have a “broken soul” before they can gain their powers. The cracks and scars in their souls make room for  the Nahel Bond to form.

The pain of their pasts becomes power in the present.

In real life, pain is used to fuel action, leading to people fighting for positive changes in society or scientific discoveries or beautiful works of art or music.

Have you listened to “Gavi’s Song” by Lindsey Stirling yet? You need to listen to it.

I’m not saying we need to encourage more painful events in people’s lives or take medications from depressed people if we want more powerful works of art–please, please don’t take our medications. Depression is more than just sadness and makes art harder, not easier. Van Gogh’s paintings  from when he was getting treatment  tended to be better than the ones from when he wasn’t.

I’m saying that there’s plenty of pain in the world already. It’s healthier to use it than to gripe about it.

Sometimes it’s really hard. It has been for me this week. But it’s worthwhile, I hope.


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