virgin islands scene

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.
-- Albert Einstein


Friday, September 14, 2001

Caring enough to be sad

Life is beautiful and joyful, and it is only because life can be so beautiful that it can sometimes be so sad. In grief there is also, strangely, a component of joy.

When we are sad it is because we care so very much. Sadness is painful, and yet the absence of sadness would mean an utter and hopeless emptiness much worse than any pain.

The joy you have known stays with you always, even in times of loss -- especially in times of loss. Indeed, it is the joy that makes the loss hurt so much. Yet that joy is never used up or canceled out. It is still a part of you, though the conditions and the relationships from which it came may have changed. It is still with you. And no one can ever take it away.

Ultimately, the joy is stronger than the pain. The pain may not ever go away completely, yet it will become more bearable as the joy continues to grow stronger with each passing moment.

Not only is sadness a genuine expression of joys already experienced, it intensifies the joys to come. The sun always seems brighter after days and days of rain. The joy and beauty of life mean even more after experiencing the pain of sadness. When you care enough to know true and profound sadness, it’s a positive affirmation of life that has no equal.

— Ralph Marston

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Copyright ©2001 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. All Rights Reserved. The Daily Motivator is provided for your personal, non-commercial use only. Other than personal sharing, please do not re-distribute without permission.