It is a common belief that pain and suffering bring us closer to the truth. The difficulties we endure shape our character ever so subtly and make us into who we are. We may not notice a major shift within, but those around us, our family and friends, watch us grow and gnarl under the crushing pressure.
I’ve seen a number of people whose lives were marked by hardship, famine, exile, war, persecution. If anyone, it would be those repressed souls who I’d expect to make grand proclamations and preach till their voices are rasp about the truth, fairness and equality. But isn’t it ironic that current day politicians and activists almost exclusively are just the opposite of what we’d call “sufferers.”
I have known a man with a stiff unbending leg mutilated by Stalin's Siberian Gulag; an elderly woman who survived a famine, a violent alcoholic husband, and built three houses in her lifetime; a mother who raised two kids without any help from her husbands. And do you know what I see? Humility and humbleness - in their eyes and movements. Having witnessed inexplicable pain and suffering, these people silently teach me a lesson of peace.