Tuesday, 13 August 2013

How to be Free: DISARM PAIN

I’m writing a series of blog posts exploring the books “How to be Free” and “The Idle Parent” written by Tom Hodgkinson.  I enjoyed a lot of the ideas expressed in these books, and think that exploring them further will help me to explore the principles behind my own way of living and parenting.

Chapter 21 – Disarm pain – EMBRACE HARDSHIP

Tom has a good rant about Glaxo Smith Kline, and about how they relish pain, because the more pain there is in the world the more profit they get.  He talks about their motto “Do more, feel better, live longer” and how it’s utter relative nonsense.  Doing more – is that really a good thing?  Feeling better – better than what?  Living longer – with what quality of life?
A little pain is okay.  It’s okay to feel pain because it’s part of life.  Fear of pain leads to fear of living.
Could we embrace a little hardship?  The warmth of the fire or a hot shower is all the better if you’ve been out giving your body some grief running around in the cold.  Perhaps it’s the same with all life – the contrast between pain and pleasure is more intense than a numbing mediocrity.
How does this match up to the ink-spots-and-grass-stains life?

I completely agree about the pleasure of life being all the better after a bit of hardship.  I fear that I’ve become a bit middle of the road since I’ve had children.  The heating is on, and it takes a bit of stirring to get me out of the house and running with the dog, especially in wintry weather.  When I do make the effort, I always feel better for it.

I have to confess though, that when it comes to real pain I’m pathetic.  A swollen foot from an insect bite has me off my feet for nearly a week.  A hangover (from one pint of cider – I’m such a light-weight!) has me swearing off alcohol for life and reaching for the paracetamol.  A twinge in my calf and I don’t do any exercise for a month.  I don’t like pain.  It makes me feel faint and nauseous and I’m sorry – I do not embrace real pain.

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