The most painful experiences of our lives, whatever they are, have potential to do two things; and this is universal.
Pain will either harden our hearts or soften them in which case we do not wish the same to happen to others. This is the choice I have made: to view every pain, every challenge with a critical, positive eye and get the best from it.
Years ago, I was listening to a BBC interview with Professor Chinua Achebe and he was asked whether or not he regretted the terrible accident which left him paralysed from the waist down.
No, he said. “If not me, who did I want it to be?” he asked. Good question. An accident, any accident, is bad news. No one wants it to happen to them. Here was a man, just like most others, enjoying a ride on the road until suddenly, in a twinkling of an eye, everything changes. He is injured, in pain, and his whole life changes, just in a fraction of a second.
Yet after months in hospital and coming out on a wheel chair, Achebe still carries a smile and accepts the accident had to happen to him. Rare. “If not me, who did I want it to be?”
But it is not easy to have a heart softened by pain, especially pain inflicted upon us by those who hate us. Yet the best weapon to fight our enemies—those who hate us for we must hate no one—is a smile. Hard. But it remains the best. Our smiles torture our enemies—again those who hate us, not those we hate for we must hate no one.
Life is supposed to be beautiful but pain disturbs our journey of joy. Worse than that, some pain is inflicted upon us by man. If we can learn to accept pain, natural or man inflicted, our hearts will be softened.
The world is looking for people with hearts that are softened by pain. Such people are rare but this generation needs more and more of such people. Are you ready to develop a soft heart from pain?
This is a question for you—and me too.