I don’t know if you know Dr Gregory House from the TV series House MD. But if you know him, you might have mixed feelings toward him. Love him, admire him, totally hate him, and then you wonder what makes him be such a misanthrope.
House hates people. He doesn’t believe in happiness. And we are wondering what had happened in his life that made him how he is today. In one of the series, House tried to help a trapped young woman whose leg was severely hurt. The woman asked him if her leg needed to be amputated. House said no. He said his leg was hurt too but he refused to be amputated and now he still had his both legs intact. Cuddy, his boss, was angry at House’s advice to the woman. Refusing to cut her leg would risk her life. House, as usual, ignored Cuddy. Then Cuddy said this thing that made me want to write this post…
You are always in pain, House. You were selfish for wanting to keep your leg. And then you are always in pain because of that. And then you can’t stand seeing other people happy because you are always in pain. You become bitter. You try to make other people miserable because you are miserable yourself. And now, you want to make her be just like you.
For those of you who never experience being sick, you might not be able to feel House. You might -or it is easier to- just hate him and consider him a pain in the ass for all human race. You might just put him in the Jerk category as an opposite of the Angel category. But, for those of you who, even for once, experience an ongoing sickness, your feeling toward House is more complicated. You feel him. You know how it feels to be in pain most of the time but still have to face people and give them your best iFake smile. But at the same time you don’t want to turn yourself into House. You force yourself to be angelic at all time although you are in constant pain. Probably that struggle is what differentiate us -human- from House -a TV character-.
I don’t have cancer. No, God forbids! I don’t have those incurable diseases that show you the how-many-years-you-have-left. I should thank God for that. I do have medical challenges ranging from gastroenteritis to multiple virus attacked. And if you know me in person, you might wonder where the hell I could get all those things.
I lead a very clean-almost-dirt-paranoid life. I don’t eat out at or even buy food from the street hawkers anymore. I wash or clean my hands so often that I am almost a paranoid. All of those things I do because I know a light cough from someone across the table would make me suffer a severe cold several days later. So, fever, headache leading to migraine, stomachache, allergy, runny nose, sneezing… are my constant companions. With those, everyday I try to step outside my front door and embrace people with their problems.
Now, people, try to put yourself in my shoes: feel yourself being sick for 5 days in a week but each day you have to smile at people and their -so often- silly little problems like who gets the corner office. If you succeed in doing that, you might have a new way of seeing life like I do. I surpass all those insignificant little things like ‘Why don’t my friends return my sms?’, or ‘How should I reprimand my subordinate without making her crying?’, or ‘What should I do to make A befriend with B again while both are quite mature human adults’, or ‘How can I tell C to use more appropriate request to D so they won’t fight at each other almost all the time, or ‘How should I write really nice sms so my friend won’t get me wrong’, or ‘Why should I smile sweetly at this big boss while he doesn’t even know his subordinate’, or ‘How I can make everyone like me?’ … and focus on the more important ones like how to get a job done without doing so much fuss so that this company will live happily ever after. And that kind of point of view is only from me who only has 5 bad days in a week. Imagine what happens with cancer patients or other patients with incurable diseases. The worldly problems might not interest them anymore.
So, what am I saying in this post?
I am just saying that when pain sometimes make us a miserable human being, it can also make us focus on the more important things in life. That’s how I live my life. Focus on the more important things because I don’t have the emotion and energy left to deal with little things. How we focus on those more important things in life is our choice. We can smile while we do it or we can be grim doing it. Either way, when we can surpass pain, everything else is minor in life.
note: I feel you is a famous quote from FM.
picture from google image