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Baleng Mahama Wutor is a final year medical student in Ghana who enjoys writing and discussing topical issues with others. He is the author of an academic guidance book and a blogger. Baleng is also a child rights advocate and makes a point to speak for children and the marginalized in society with his voice and his pen. Though he hopes to be a good swimmer someday, he can barely stay for ten seconds under water..lol.
I woke up one morning feeling sick. This was unusual because though I don’t profess to be a superhero, I very rarely get sick. Some of my friends used to tease me that I was only piling up my minor illnesses and that the day I get sick, it would be an avalanche. I am relieved to report however that their grim prophecy has never seen the light of day. This particular morning, however, I was having a fever and my body ached all over. I decided to step out and was immediately welcomed by the loving embrace of the gentle morning sun. Suddenly when the rays kissed my skin, a current of exhilaration run through my whole body and I shuddered out of pure ecstasy. What a feeling I had! The pain and discomfort still lingered somewhere in there, but this new found feeling seemed to shut them out completely. I got a chair and stayed in the sun for the rest of the day until much later when the now hot rays reminded me it was noon already. The next morning, I woke up as fit as fiddle; no headache and no fever. I decided to step out into the sun keeping my fingers crossed that I would have the same feeling as the previous morning. To my greatest disappointment, I had no such feeling. I figured that the exhilarating feeling was linked to the mild sickness I had the previous day and as ridiculous as it may sound, I wished I was still sick that morning so that I could have the same feeling over and over again. Years later, it occurred to me that what happened that day was life’s practical way of teaching me the truism in the saying that ‘’there is a silver lining in every dark cloud’’. Sickness is not a thing anyone would ever desire, in fact, it is and should be abhorred. People would want to talk about any other thing but pain and suffering. It is too macabre a subject to discuss and yet in the greatest dark clouds, we have silver linings. There I was, wishing I would be sick, so I could enjoy the ‘’silver lining’’ that accompanied the sickness. Pain is a universal human experience that we all feel. Think about it, the first cry of a newly born infant due to pain is what douses the fear of mothers that their babies are alright. Though man has gone to lengths to provide remedies for pain, it has proved over the years too elusive to conquer. Think about the pain of a breakup, the pain of losing a dear one; there is no prophylaxis whatsoever against these. Perhaps, this is to remind us that pain has come to stay and may mean more than we have ever cared to think about. No matter the kind of pain we experience, we must never become so fixated on it not to see the wonderful silver lining that may accompany it. We have not given pain a fair hearing in the courts of our minds. It has been typecast as not only undesirable but even evil. But if not for pain, you would step on a sharp object and feel nothing and that will only injure you more. Pain sets off an alarm system to ensure that our bodies are preserved. Have you ever thought about people living with leprosy? Their sickness is simply that, they are not able to feel any pain. Perhaps someone who is in deep pain at the moment is reading this and saying to me that I am oversimplifying matters. I must admit, that might be true. It is often a different matter when we are actually the ones having to go through a certain experience. I still believe though that, having the right perspective of the purpose of pain and suffering will not only help us smile through the pain but also engender an air of perpetual happiness around us. No one should ever wish for misfortune in their lives, but when it does happen, know that you are not defined by the pain that you go through. Know that perhaps it was purposed for you to go through that experience to identify a particular silver lining in that dark cloud. The world is replete with examples of people who at their lowest moments made their most outstanding breakthroughs in life. Always be reminded to take advantage of the silver lining in your dark cloud, even as you go through a particular challenge in life. Photo Credit: Zig Ziglar
I wish everyone a happy life, but there are bound to be dark clouds, that is just part and parcel of who we are as human beings. Instead of refusing to acknowledge this reality, let us embrace it. It will help us face these darl clouds squarely with all we have learnt from our happy moments and more importantly, it would help us identify the silver lining in those dark clouds.