General Question

phoenyx's avatar

Is pain valuable?

Asked by phoenyx (7388points) May 26th, 2008

If you could have something painful (physical, mental, emotional, etc.) that happened in your life removed from your life, would you do it? What if all of the events that led up to it were also removed? What if any life lessons you learned from it were removed? What if anything that happened after as a result was removed?

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19 Answers

arnbev959's avatar

Since I’m now in the present, any pain I’ve felt in the past no longer bothers me; I’ve gotten through it. So, no, I wouldn’t go back and remove past pain.

Breefield's avatar

I wouldn’t give up the pain I’ve experienced for anything. I believe pain is one of the strongest tools to teach with.

bulbatron9's avatar

Pain is the only way we know we’re alive!

Allie's avatar

Emotionally/Mentally: No, the experiences I’ve gone through have helped shape me into who I am today. I’m happy with who I am so…. no, I wouldn’t remove any painful events.

Physically: I kind of would like to have not fractured my wrist in high school from rugby. Now, when I pick up things that are too heavy sometimes it tweaks.

Trustinglife's avatar

I love pain!

AstroChuck's avatar

Emotional pain is one way we mature. What we are is shaped by our experiences. I happen to like who I am so I think I’d keep all my experiences, good and bad. Although, I’ve been pretty lucky, I must say.

wildflower's avatar

Yes it’s valuable. It’s usually associated with a mistake, failure or misjudgment and we learn more from those than from successes.
If you get it right the first time, how much do you dwell on it to learn from it? Not very.
If you make a mistake (and cause yourself pain), you do dwell on it until you can make sense of it and learn from it.

Randy's avatar

No. I believe that pain actually does make you stronger.

DeezerQueue's avatar

Yes, and in a second. I’m addressing a chronic pain issue that is the result of informed consent having been withheld of the risks involved in a certain procedure that are permanent and irreversible. “Unfortunately, there is no known effective treatment for….”

There has been nothing gained or learned from this acutely painful experience, that has dragged on for almost three years now, except for the fact that I can tell you about various painkillers, watching loved ones suffer because they are powerless to help me, the loss of some friends and what used to be a good social life, having to stop my undergraduate study and finally, work. I have become unreliable and moody.

I have been through painful experiences in my life, some from poor choices and some from circumstances, had other physical pains, but this is the only one that I can say with a high degree of certainty that I wish I had never had.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t enjoy it when I am going through it, but emotional pain, as long as one does not get stuck in it, I agree with others who have posted is part of life and growth. By experiencing it, our joy and contentment in good times are all the sweeter for having known that they are not automatic.

Physical pain is a a warning by the body. I am lucky only to have had it in fleeting periods.

@DeezerQueue Chronic pain is something else again and can be incredibly debilitating. I am very sorry that you have the situation you described. Our medical system is not really great at pain relief in these situations. A sort of puritanical hangover or something.

phoenyx's avatar

perhaps you meant “puritanical holdover?”

I don’t know why, but “puritanical hangover” made me laugh really hard. :)

nikipedia's avatar

Thanks for posting this question. What a great reminder to anyone going through something (emotionally) painful. No, I think I would not trade any of it.

marinelife's avatar

@phoenyx In literal terms, you are absolutely correct, but I was trying to express the wrongness of it, and the pain that it causes. Glad I could amuse.

Babo's avatar

It’s a signal that something is wrong, so yes it is valuable.

phoenyx's avatar

Yeah, I shouldn’t correct people who are being more clever than me. :)

scamp's avatar

I have to agree with DeezerQueue . While short term pain can tell us something is wrong and prompt us to go for exams and treatment, I would gladly do without chronic pain. It affects every waking moment of both the person suffering and those around us. and of course this leads to emotional pain as well. I can look at past struggles in my life and see where I have gained strength from them, but physical pain has not benefitted me once in 25 years.

kristianbrodie's avatar

Here’s a quote I carry around with me in my notebook. I think it’s relevant here –
“You have comfort. You don’t have luxury. And don’t tell me that money plays a part. The luxury I advocate has nothing to do with money. It cannot be bought. It is the reeward of thse who have no fear of discomfort.” – Jean Cocteau.
For luxury, read a life of pleasure, for discomfort read pain. I mean to say that having things easy all the time might not be all it’s cracked up to be.

atlantis's avatar

Pain may have value depending on how you take it and what you become in the end. For a habit, i think staying miles away from unnecessary pain should be the law. It’s already a natural one…

adaismeus's avatar

pain has alot of value to it and alot of nothing. I have a physical condition that causes me to have chronic pain. I can tell you that it has given me a huge tolerance for pain, it has helped me to be more empathethic to people who suffer from the same. It has told me to never judge a book by its cover. When peope see me a 30 year old with a cane i get looks ( and by the way thank you govt. healthcare for the permanent damage)....pain is valuable in teaching us that it can always be worse because once you get relief you realize just how lucky you are to not have it contantly.
I live with pain everyday with varying degrees that depend on how much i try to do in a day or how much i have to do with my kids or the weather.
So yes I would say it is valuable but it can also degrade a human being, age them beyond their years, make them angry and bitter, that is just the flip side, it is the choice of the perrson how to see it. I try to use mine to educate people that age has nothing to do with disablility or pain and also to try to make people see how appreciative they should be of simple things like your health.
I think like with everything else it is in your perspective.

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