Sunday, June 3, 2012

Not Zen 8: Pain

A young man drove his father to the doctor's office. There, his father was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas. The doctor explained that it was one of the most painful diseases known. The father nodded, accepted his prescriptions, and left.

In the car, his son sat stunned. He rested his hands on the wheel but didn't move.

"Doesn't it hurt in that region of your stomach?" he asked his father after a minute of thought.

"Yes. In fact, it's hurt for years."

"And your back? Has that hurt, too?"


"Why didn't you say anything, dad?"

"What would we have done about it? I had to work. It didn't matter what my problem was. I had to provide for you and your mother."

"That's crazy." The young man shook his head.

"No. It's what parents do. Your mother does the same thing. You'll do it, too, when you're older. Wait and see. Living with pain is nothing special."

"I don't think I can do it. Not like you."

"You say that now. But you won't get far without doing it. Sometimes all you can give other people is your patience, love, and toleration for the aches and pains of life. Anyway, didn't you sprain your wrist yesterday? You've got a brace on."

“Are you seriously comparing that?" The young man lifted his arm to look at it for a moment. “This is nothing.”

"Well, thanks for getting me here," his father said.

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