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In a World Filled with Pain


In a world filled with pain -
A world driven by the need to run from the pain -
A world where the future is looked toward with fear -
Such a world as ours ...

Why is it that the worst thing we can do is try to escape the pain?
Why is it that what we want and need the most is invariably what will hurt us the most?
And why do we so easily change our perceptions of reality to allow ourselves to believe that our means of escape is helping us?
Why - even when we have tried and failed so many times before?

To the alcoholic, the drug abuser, the compulsive gambler, the chronic liar, the clinically insane, the wife beater, the masochist, the serial killer -
To these and more, they see their lifestyles and their choices as their means for escape ...
Their actions and reactions only seem unusual to them when others tell them that they are wrong.
For when others see them, they see the pain and suffering caused by their actions and often they still cannot understand their actions even when they see the pain and suffering which drove such 'atrocities.'

Yet we are as blind to the pain we cause or endure as they are.
We live our lives running from pain while still unable to avoid it, and in our haste to escape the pain, we invariably cause more to ourselves and to others.

Who has not been harmed by someone they considered their friend?
Who has not had their trust betrayed?
Who has not been spurned by someone they wished would only give them a kind word?

And similarly, who has not been selfish to the detriment of another?
Who has not lied for what they believe to be a good reason?
Who has not caused pain to another because they could not spare the time to care?

We fill a globe with our hate, our pain, our terror -
Every one of us, each fearing loneliness, pain, hunger, failure, rejection ... truth ...
We compound our problems and the problems of others by promoting each others' worries and supporting each others' fantasies of a better world.

The idealism of a perfect world is only a goal to strive toward -
We cannot claim it as our own and use it as a shield -
We cannot run away from our problems, our pain, our fear -

And we cannot look ourselves in the mirror and say everything is alright.

Because in the end,
The pain will continue to surround us and everything we do, and our flight from the pain will blind us to the truth -

LOVE seen in the mirror is EVIL.


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In a World Filled with Pain, by Paul Cales, © 1993