Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Cruel Gift

Source of picture: James Nord
"People who have only good experiences aren't very interesting. They may be content, and happy after a fashion, but they aren't very deep. It may seem a misfortune now, and it makes things difficult, but well- it's easy to feel all the happy, simple stuff. Not that happiness is ncessarily simple. But I don't think you're overwhelmed by the bad patches. You must not let them defeat you. You must see them as a gift - a cruel gift, but a gift nonetheless" - Peter Cameron, Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You
I once had this crazy, superfluous idea that other people's experiences of life were far better than my own. They always seem to come across as more fortunate than I was. In addition to that thought, I was convinced that if they ever should find themselves in a position where they had to struggle for something, they wouldn't have to struggle all that much.

But I know now that that is far from the truth. After many deep reflections of oneself over the past couple of years (and a recent reading of a particularly inspiring novel), I can conclude that all of our experiences - be they good or bad - are equally important as one another. And to envy those who only have good experiences is quite a wasteful way to spend my time. For a fulfilling life, we need a combination of worthwhile experiences as well as those that find us beaten and worn down. They make up who we are, and most importantly, shape our outlook on life. And those who only have good experiences may be content, but they aren't as well-received as those who turn their ill-luck into learning blocks. 

Happiness is rarely simple, although I try to find ways in which to find happiness in everything. But there's also something to be had from bad moments. And maybe one day, I may learn to find the fortune in my misfortunes - to see all my experiences as gifts in all their glorious shapes and forms. 

No comments:

Post a Comment