There are some that believe success is the end result of suffering. That suffering is a gift, handed down from some unseen and benevolent master. I would ask these individuals to carefully re-examine the words “suffering” and “benevolent”. Suffering is not a virtue, nor is success always its end result. Those who would extol it as such and claim their success is the result sufferance serve to promote complacency and passivity and I for one find this insufferable.
I choose instead to endure. I am not, nor have ever been (and safe to say will never be) a praying man but were I such, it is doubtful that I would be the type to “give thanks” for the suffering that I encounter in what is unquestionably a difficult life. I would however, as a great man once suggested, pray for the strength to endure that life.
While I am aware that the words ‘suffer’ and ‘endure’ share very much the same meaning, as with any arranging and usage of words, the true implication of my statement lies in its context. For me, to endure is to be active amidst the opposition, to stand when forced to kneel, to speak when silence is insisted, to be ready once the offense has exhausted itself in the effort to overrun your barricades.
To endure is to stand immovable, to bend without breaking, to accept the flow of current without being confined, diverging when the necessity and/or opportunity arises. Not to be trampled, not to be battered, not to be stagnant. Suffering not a gift, it is not the parent of success, and it is nothing to be thankful for. Endurance is a choice, one that can be made without needing gods to beg or thank. A choice that can result in the strength, knowledge, wisdom and courage that comes from knowing YOU have done this and that you can do it again.
“We are unique in that we create ourselves” –Han (Shih Kien) Enter the Dragon