Now I know in part...

The courage to suffer

July 18th, 2013 at 11:55 am | Posted in Books, Things that make me me | No Comments

Viktor Frankl was an Austrian psychiatrist who survived Auschwitz during World War II and chronicled his experiences afterwards. I read this bit yesterday:

There was plenty of suffering for us to get through. Therefore, it was necessary to face up to the full amount of suffering, trying to keep moments of weakness and furtive tears to a minimum. But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer. Only very few realised that.

Viktor Emil Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning

The concept of it requiring courage to suffer’s an interesting one. Guess without fear there can be no courage; with courage being found in the face of fear as opposed to the denial of it, demanding an engagement with weakness as opposed to running from it.

To live is to suffer, and suffering hurts. Pain and discomfort are guaranteed to make life messy, but through the embrace and expression of them it seems we claim a greater dignity and strength; that of being human and knowing ourselves to be alive.

Real men (and women) suffer and cry it seems (or at least aren’t afraid to).

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Preach it Theo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *