Are we obliged to confront suffering?
October 13, 2010

Are we obliged to confront suffering?

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Kevin : March 29, 2011 09:04 pm
Its unfortunate that there are so few people like Shmuly in the world because I feel if everyone took the time to make others feel better there would be less unhappiness and suffering in general.
Kait : December 22, 2010 10:13 am
When I was a student nurse, I had finished observing an "open and close" surgery, meaning a terminally ill patient. Thankfully those days are almost gone--we can almost always do something for the patient now. I followed my patient to the recovery room, where his surgeon talked to me while waiting for the patient to awaken. He told me that I was doing the one thing for the patient that no one else could do at that moment--I was going through the experience of suffering with him. Those words have remained with me for my thirty years of practice. Yes, of course suffering must be confronted. At times our only offering may be to meet and share it, with prayer or simply with our presence (or both). Thank you for your offering of yourself. You're aiming well toward the mark. kait
Rob Pene : December 17, 2010 04:15 pm
Thanks Shmuly for your "superman" zeal to make a lasting impact in this world! Truly Inspirational!!!!
Fina : December 05, 2010 06:52 am
We are all called to suffering. If we give meaning to our suffering, sharing our lessons learned, grace and mercy given to us...the compassion arises and healing is always on its wings. If we suffer for suffering's sake...then that is all it is. When we resist the will of God...we suffer. When we demand answers from God to questions that cannot be answered or understood..we suffer. Life keeps coming at us, we will suffer...but joy, joy will taste all the sweeter.
Erin W : November 19, 2010 04:13 am
I love the last line of this piece. I think it gets to the heart of why we're obliged to confront suffering -- and perhaps most importantly, care for people who are suffering.
Adam : November 10, 2010 04:18 pm
We are obliged to empathize and have compassion for others. One of the ways we are able to develop these is by confronting suffering, both in ourselves and others.
Neco Turkienicz : November 08, 2010 05:31 pm
I think suffering is a tool for us to improve ourselves. To understand it, to learn from it, to see it as something that we encounter in our way for a reason. To be able to pass that feeling to suffering people, as Shmuly does, is a real gift and a real mitzvá.
Sharon Ann Weidelman : November 08, 2010 12:14 am
yes as humans we are called by God to confront suffering and to praise our creator for the gift of suffering. I know this sounds awful but it is wonderful. Many times we must turn away from feeling sorry for our self offer up our pain or disappointment and return it to God as gift.
Nedra Weinreich : November 03, 2010 06:39 am
I don't think we have a choice - life is full of suffering, and how we deal with it defines who we are. A charmed few don't have to deal with death or pain until late in their lives, but it's nearly impossible to avoid. The attitude we bring to the problems we suffer in our own lives makes all the difference in our happiness, whether we're living on $500/day or $1/day. I think those of us who came out ahead in the lottery of life have an obligation to help those who are not as well off. And I agree with Michael that we have to start with one person at a time or the sheer amount of suffering is paralyzing.
Michael Hoffman : November 02, 2010 04:53 pm
I think we do need to confront suffering because no life is free from it. We will come across suffering in our lives, in the lives of our families and those that look away don't live up to their obligations as friends and children and lovers. I also think that we tend to look away at the suffering in the world that is all around us. More than 1 billion people live on less than $1 per day. The suffering of human beings seems endless. How can we confront it without being overwhelmed? Maybe by taking it in small, human-sized pieces.
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