Of pain and loved ones


>A statement from a book that I’ve been shamefully sitting on for the past one month has (as usual) set my contemplative mode in action. As you might have noticed in my earlier rants (if at all you read my posts that regularly and seriously. You are forgiven if you don’t), I am still reading The Palace Of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Devakaruni. I ranted about it in parts in one of my previous posts. You can read more about the book by reading that post. But, for the time being, that is not really necessary.
Here’s a statement I picked from the novel:

To see a loved one in pain is more wrenching than to bear that pain yourself.

In the novel (which is purely fictional) Draupadi, in a reflective and self-interrogative mode, says these lines after having witnessed the great Kurukshetra war. It comes after she realizes that she has lost her brother, sons and father in the great war.
The context isn’t really important unless you are too eager to know it.

How true is it? Do you agree? Would you the same? Would you actually believe in it when you say the same?
I asked this question to many of my friends to know what they feel about this.
Most agreed. A few disagreed. A few insisted on knowing details of the context in which the statement was uttered. Even fewer are still confused ( I’m in this category)
Many say that it depends a lot on who the loved one is. Granted. Let’s assume the loved one in question is the person whom you care about the most in your life. This could be your mother/father/brother/sister/spouse/close friend, depending upon the individual.

Others say that it’s a hypothetical question and cannot be answered unless you are in a similar situation, i.e., if you have, in person, witnessed a similar situation whereby you have been witness to watching your loved one in pain while you yourself are undergoing it. Well….I don’t really have an answer to that.

I, personally, insist that a lot also depends on the nature of the pain. Whether it is physical or mental or emotional matters to me as it will significantly impact how I react in such a situation.

Anyways, considering all the above possibilities, problems and loopholes in the statement, what do you, as a random reader of my random rants, feel? Would you agree with the statement? Why? Or why not?

I await your answer in utmost patience and humility…

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8 thoughts on “Of pain and loved ones

  1. >Deepa,The degree of love/affection cannot be quantified, so its a situational question which can be put into different plots and circumstances. But having said so, I am not shooing away myself without answering the question. My answer is 'I agree' backed by personal experience and agreeing to Prof Ron's explanation.

  2. >Deepa,I do not agree to the statement.I also don't think it is a situational question at all. It is a very genuine and universal statement. I do not agree because most of the times when I see my loved ones in pain it kindles rage in me. Even though sometimes I may be helpless i kind of learn something and move on.To sympathize would be the last thing I would do.

  3. >"To see a loved one in pain is more wrenching than to bear that pain yourself".I think the statement itself is controversial – leading to varied responses. No surprise!Personally, and even practically, we can't just sit 'SEE'ing our loved ones in pain; invariably we will definitely do our possible bit to help them out. This, is as good as we are getting ourselves involved in the pain our loved ones are undergoing; CARING always comes with SHARING, either good or bad.If we can manage to sit idle and just SEE them suffering.. then, 'are they really our LOVED ones??'; I strongly doubt :o)

  4. >@Prashanth"we can't just sit 'SEE'ing our loved ones in pain; invariably we will definitely do our possible bit to help them out."Point noted. But, the statement also invariably suggests that you yourself are also in pain. It's a simultaneous process whereby both parties are in pain. The question that THEN arises is thus.Now..??

  5. >Hmmmm.. right Deepa. I agree to you saying when our loved ones are in love, we too are!"more wrenching" – Guess that is a bit too much. Isn't it?"To see a loved one in pain is as wrenching as when you are pain in yourself" – Will this be more close to reality?No surprise if you DIS-Agree :o)

  6. >@PrashanthHe He. Have I earned a reputation of always DISagreeing with you? :o)There is no agree or disagree here as it's an open statement and I simply wanted to know what others think about it. Peace!

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