Love in the Time of COVID

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  • Love in the Time of COVID

    Hello,

    Maybe I am not the only one who has read a thread posted here recently which contained harmful messaging? Just now I finished reading a remarkably negative thread posted by a person unwilling to engage in any semblance of fair or honest dialog. Among the nonsense attacks lobbed at forum goers was some rhetorical argument that people living in a first world home are not suffering due to COVID. The poster referred all of us to spend our time in a homeless shelter in order to gain some perspective.

    Not everyone knows this, but I work for a Homeless Ministry. I am lucky enough to be a Case Manager in the Men's Addiction Recovery Program. Everyday I get to work with people who are rebuilding there lives. Among the many miracles I have witnessed while working here, is our success in dealing with the pandemic. Of the thousands of people supporting our work and making use of our resources only 1 person has contracted COVID. Thankfully she made a full recovery.

    I am announcing this good news for a specific reason. I want you all to know that there is no quality in suffering which makes that suffering more or less noble. You do not need to suffer more in order to have more value. You do not need to work or suffer in order to be worthy of love. Whatever pain you have experienced, it is more pain then you deserve to feel. Whatever person you are, whatever you have done, you do not deserve to suffer. If you suffer less than someone else, you are not a lesser person than the person who may be suffering more. And, even though objectively a person may be suffering great hardship it does not mean they are experiencing more pain than you feel.

    In my job I often counsel men about their trauma and painful experiences. Often I hear, "Well so-and-so had it worse then I did, so I shouldn't complain." This is a statement which dismisses pain, and restricts our permission to feel the pain which has been inflicted upon us. Do not make this statement. Instead, say to yourself, "The pain I feel has been enough to hurt me." Healing requires empathy and love. Strangely the person who is most restrictive in giving us love and empathy is often our own self. We are harder on ourselves than we ought to be. Show yourself some kindness and love.

    As a man working with those people who some might think have it harder than most, the people we pray for most often is everyone not in our building.
  • Well said!

    I did address the flawed logic of comparative suffering in the original thread, but since I also addressed the attack on my educational level/field, I felt it was best to remove my reply before it was taken out of context.

    You have written a more eloquent statement than I ever could.

    Execution Board

    HR Consultant

    Mr. Gobbo's Tricksy Gits :GobboFreaky:
  • Thank you, I try, and worry that I grand stand a bit too much.

    The only nobility to be found in suffering is the opportunity to grow in our character. Character can be summarized as the ability to empathize with others. Which requires patience, courage, humility, selflessness, diligence, purity and hope. These things are not inherited simply by suffering. I don't become a better man just because I was destitute or experienced a tragedy.

    What is ignoble is to cause others to suffer. And, when we practice comparative suffering, we further the suffering of one or more people by dismissing what they have already gone through.

    It is true, there is no logic in comparative suffering. It is only a lie that was told to us. We keep repeating it because it is easier not to acknowledge our own pain, and to dismiss the pains of others, rather than to feel pain, empathy or remorse.

    Thank you for supporting what I have said. This was the most loving way I could think of in which to respond.
  • echoCTRL wrote:

    Whatever pain you have experienced, it is more pain then you deserve to feel. Whatever person you are, whatever you have done, you do not deserve to suffer. If you suffer less than someone else, you are not a lesser person than the person who may be suffering more. And, even though objectively a person may be suffering great hardship it does not mean they are experiencing more pain than you feel.
    Life is Suffering.
    - Buddha
  • Great points @echoCTRL

    I did see the series of posts you referred to. They were toxic to say the least.

    Thanks for reminding us that our pain and problems are real to us and that they are not less valid because someone else has it worse. Practicing some self-kindness can be great for us and it can potentially give us the space we need to be compassionate towards others. Appreciate the positivity.