Favourite Quotes//Eight

gold lined dark  clouds

“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”

Friedrich Nietzsche 1844 – 1900

Could I have as a favourite quote one which I only discovered in recent weeks – I decided that yes I could as it resonates strongly.

I was in a reflective mood when I came across Friedrich Nietzsche’s words and they seemed so apt and wise. And yet there was a part of me that wondered if they are too dark. Suffer and survive sounds so stark although I suspect that no one traverses life’s undulating hills without encountering some sort of sorrow and then dealing with the shadows and half-shadows that that sorrow casts.

I like the idea of finding meaning in the sadder events in life and there is, I think, solace in searching for that meaning without that search in any way diminishing the importance of or the lasting effects of those events.

The sadder events in my life have also been the greatest opportunities for learning and some personal growth. Of all the life-lessons I have learned the single most important one (to me) is: that it is best in any encounter with another person to always give them the benefit of any doubt I might have around what they do or say because it is impossible to know what sadness another person has met in life and how it has affected them.

I will be back soon babbling about the shallower things in life, in the meantime Happy Weekend!

20 Comments

Filed under Favourite Quotes, Musings

20 responses to “Favourite Quotes//Eight

  1. Yes, Nietzche’s words do seem dark, at first, but to find meaning in suffering or opportunity in suffering does mean survival or, if I may invent a word, thrive-al. Another quote I like, but people seem to disagree on its author, goes something like this “Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

  2. A wise life-lesson and one which I agree wholeheartedly with.

  3. beautycalyptique

    “life is pain” (unknown)
    actually life *is* surviving. physically, mentally,… development and growth happen only where obstacles have to be overcome! (this sounds not as heavily as suffering and surviving, but says the same I think)

    • Hello

      I don’t know how but I missed this comment yesterday and only saw your PS, which by the way was kind of you to take the time to send.

      I agree with you about development and growth happening ‘only where there are obstacles have to be overcome …’

      • beautycalyptique

        I’ve heard from a religious person recently “God never gives us more than we can bear”. It is scarily true. Like levels in a video game. you beat the monsters, and get the monster boss next. until you’re in the dungeon fighting the boss of the bosses.

        and yes, I’ve sent the reply, and then it occurred to me that Miss Jules pinned that saying, so I came back to share it πŸ™‚

      • Yes true I think and also comforting. πŸ˜‰

  4. beautycalyptique

    P.S. via Julia of ThreeTimesYes: http://pinterest.com/pin/2462974769279597/

  5. I like the idea of finding meaning in the sadder events in life ….
    I agree totally with you, after working many years in a university hospital and also personal encounters in private life. Happy weekend to you too!

  6. Survival is the key, we all work hard at it! And shallow is good too!! c

  7. d.mooncrab

    In good times and in bad times, I constantly wish I get to do something else – but – it is really just that I want to have something to do. Confusing. This has got to be what Nietzsche is addressing as suffer.
    Your life-lesson is a great one to have achieved. πŸ™‚

  8. Hmmm… While I absolutely agree that (i) it is virtually impossible for anyone with a conscience to go through life without experiencing pain/sorrow and (ii) we generally learn something from pain (I think I did), it seems to me that stretching these concepts to say that to live is to suffer makes the unknown (at least to me) author of the saying “life’s a b#tch and then you die” a lighthearted comedian πŸ˜‰
    I mean, if it were really true that to live is [simply] to suffer (which is not my experience, although I went through my fair share of suffering) then I think we would see the number of suicides skyrocket. What would be the point of living just for suffering when humans are in control of their destiny and free to choose otherwise? Not to mention that, for those who are religious, this would cast a not so positive shadow on their god(s): if God created the humans and to live is to suffer, what was the purpose? Seeing how much pain they would be able to endure before they were gone? If this were true, it would be a pretty sadistic experiment, if you ask me! πŸ˜‰
    Anyway, I have a remedy for you: whenever that maxim from Nietzsche comes to your mind and you come to think that it sounds true, run to the cellar (or the nearest liquor store) and treat yourself to a good bottle of your favorite wine, sip it and indulge and take solace in proving the man wrong: life is not all pain and suffering! πŸ˜€

    • Thank you Stefano for your thoughtful reply; I especially liked your vinous remedy. πŸ˜‰

      I agree life is not all pain and suffering.

      I don’t obviously know exactly what Nietzsche had in mind when he wrote those words but I took them to mean that suffering is part of the human condition, as life usually scatters some suffering and sorrows upon us on our journey across this earthly landscape. But not to mean that life is continuous suffering.

      I was in a reflective mood and a looking back mode when I wrote the post and I hope it didn’t come across as utterly dark. I am content and I have so very much to be grateful for.

      Take care.
      B πŸ˜‰

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