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Thoughts on Pain

When you're having a great time is a weird time to be thinking about pain.

But I am.

I'm thinking back on dark days, despair, lost friends, physical pain that feels unbearable like childbirth, and somewhat lesser pains like severe earaches and even lesser pain like a broken toe and still lesser pain like a stubbed toe and down to the ones you barely feel like scraping your leg on a thornbush while running or impaling your foot on a sharp stick, which happened to me yet again just days ago.

Flip flops are still my favorite footwear, hah. In spite of all the pain my feet have taken due to their flimsiness and lack of protection.

I remember a title of a work of literature I read in school.

Pain is Not the Ultimate Enemy.

And it's so true. Pain isn't really the problem.

Pain is telling you about a problem.

If you don't feel any pain, you could bleed out without noticing. You could keep running or crawling on bleeding knees or feet and get them full of rocks and germs and get infected and so on.

I remember hearing about a little girl who was born without the ability to feel pain.

She chewed up and destroyed her own tongue. She had to wear a helmet since she wasn't at all concerned about hitting her head on anything.

We need pain.

(to be continued)



There is a thorny plant in my front yard that produces pretty flowers, but it also tends to grow where it wants with its supremely sharp, skin-and-clothes-ripping spikes.

When the branches start to impede the path we need to walk on, I've many times taken pruning shears to it to keep it in line. Eventually, I decided I didn't want the thing at all and pruned it to nothingness. All I left was some sad looking gnarled brown stumps and hoped it would die.

It didn't. The more I pruned, the more it grew. Those 2-foot-high stumplings I left behind years ago have turned into a plant that is twice my height or more, an enormous flourishing bush or tree (admittedly, I'm no gardener!) thing that stands in defiance of my most aggressive efforts to prune it to death. I continued to cut off the branches that grew sideways since they were dangerous and in the way, so it just decided to grow up and up and up. I think normally it's a bush but it's turning into a tree.

It turns out pruning is good for plants.

Pruning, even though it can be painful at the time, is good for us too. It makes us grow stronger. It eliminates weak and unproductive branches, and helps make the plant more resilient against disease.

Pain is not the ultimate enemy.


Almost sounds like you are describing a rose bush. They enjoy being pruned. Not all plants do. I guess if it was a rose you would recognize it as such. Also they don't have thorns, only prickles.

Metaphors aside, if you do want to get rid of it just paint the cut ends with undiluted glyphosate next time you prune it, that stops just about anything.

hf =D


Thank you for your suggestions! How do you find time to hone your gardening skills between W2 games and projects? And work and sleep and eating and things.

I actually grew to respect this feisty bush, the way I do a W2 opponent who can defeat me over and over and over again.

How can I genuinely want to destroy a plant that has repeatedly bested the best efforts of my aggressive blades?

It has earned its right to live. The branches that block the pathway will get trimmed with a semi-appreciative, semi-annoyed smirk. The rest of it will be someone else's problem after we sell the house lol.


Next time I have a gardening crisis, I'll be sure to consult you.

A very small number of people have been born without the ability to feel pain. Something went wrong with the function of the nervous system, and they don't feel any pain.

Sounds pretty good right?


Take a look at Gabby Gingras, who feels no pain.

She chewed up her hands as a toddler, chewed up her tongue, chewed so much that many of her teeth fell out. She had to have the rest of her teeth removed so she couldn't hurt herself. She gouged out and badly damaged her eyes, ruining her vision. She falls over and hits her head and doesn't care.

Pain is not the problem!

Pain is telling you about a problem.

Pain gives us very important information. It tells us to pay attention.

We have to accept this truth: pain is good for us.