Since wisdom is art of coping with suffering, it starts with a willingness to tackle it head-on:
a) Such is harshness of our condition that we suffer, sometimes greatly or worse, insuperably.
b) Such is richness of our nature that we can learn to live happily, or at least serenely, within limits of this condition. This entails us either pursuing goals that are not only desirable or honorable, but also attainable, or resigning ourselves to inevitable.
Admittedly, a great many suffer whose suffering is all more problematic as their wisdom is still largely in making. I remember my own past as a young unhappy and suicidal man who composed dark poems. My negative attitude compounded my difficult situation, and I lacked awareness of my ability to improve both. Today, I feel deeply connected with those who live in limbo of gloom. Even if my words only reach one of them, they will not have been written in vain. I have recently come across some dark poetry, reminiscent of mine in my young days. The author Melyssa G. Sprott is a young talented woman whose youth has been poisoned by abuse and other hardships. Her suffering and her talent have inspired me to feature some of her work and respond to it. Note that my responding to it in a positive manner testifies to my being help-minded, but note also that my responses are written in a spirit of humbleness. I don't claim to provide a remedy; I just try my best to give some useful insights.
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The following excerpts are from one of Melyssa's collection of poems, entitled "Descent into Dark." They reveal her aching soul with moving simplicity of a woman crying for her overwhelming grief.
When I was six, my father had me convinced I wasn't worth air I breathed, food I'd cost, or other things I'd need. When I was six, my father didn't want children or want wife he kept, so we were forced to suffer for my father's regrets.
"Remember to tell him you love him or you'll die," Mother sings her twisted lullaby. "Wish for mercy, pray for death, await day he ceases breath. He'll wake you up at three in morning to beat you senseless without warning. It doesn't matter how still you lie," Mother sings her twisted lullaby.
I want to bleed forever, bleed out my sorrow. I can't even bear thought of tomorrow. I want this nightmare to end. I'll close my eyes to world. I've been begging for death since I was a little girl.
How could all this damage come from such trusted lips?
You throw words like stones. My heart is breaking glass.
The key you held is knife you twist.
Nowhere to hide in dark of night. Sometimes only comfort we find is in our own pain
. They'll never understand calm of relinquishing all control.
Suffering takes less courage than it takes to be content.
I didn't choose less traveled path of love, joy, and luck. I chose other path, and now I am stuck.
I'm a prisoner of dark in my eyes.
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Let us take stock of a few harsh facts that are part and parcel of life, not only Melyssa's or mine, but everyone's.
a) The human potential for greatness great learning and nobility, and great accomplishments is matched only by human potential for reverse. Yes, humans can be and sometimes are monstrously poor-spirited, narrow-minded, and black-hearted, among other despicable traits. These traits may involve genetic or environmental factors that predispose to them, but ultimately they are fault of individuals who give free rein to them. The unfortunate thing is, these individuals are a source of suffering not only to themselves but also to those who are at their mercy. Among their victims are children, women, and elderly or disabled people. Actually, even strongest of men can suffer as a result of falling prey to them. Yet, others are more vulnerable especially children who often make dreadful mistake of blaming themselves for abuse or neglect to which they are subjected.