Does suffering help us grow into a better person?

Richard Walsh
Social Work
It can, but only if you can learn and grow from it. Once you have the learning it is yours and you leave the situation where you feel suffering that much stronger and wiser. I don't recommend seeking suffering to learn and grow into a better person, but if you should happen to feel suffering you might want to start with awareness and move into acceptance and action and leave the suffering behind. And who says you are not a better person already? It's up to you to own your own identity, which comes from the inside and not out there in someone elses opinions.
Lisa Oz
Health Education

Countless people have used their own pain for personal growth and as the motivation and means of improving the plight of others. Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., and Bill Wilson (the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous) did not become hardened or debased by their struggles; they grew in both strength and wisdom. Due to the heightened compassion and personal resilience that they gained through their tribulations, they were able to improve the lives of millions.

Around the globe, in countries afflicted by war, tyranny, or poverty, suffering is part of each day. Hunger, disease, violence, and the loss of loved ones are the norm for millions of people. While most of us will never have to face this sort of devastation, we all have our private pain. We do not have to experience something horrific to suffer deeply. We all feel sorrow and loss. The question is, what do we do because of it? How does pain influence our relationships? Who do we become after experiencing pain?

Continue Learning about Grief & Emotional Health

Grief & Emotional Health

Grief & Emotional Health

Everyone feels loss at times, but when we lose a loved one, the feeling is deeper -- grief, a normal emotion. When feeling grief, it's best for your emotional health for you to stay in touch with family members who can provide sup...

port; make an effort to keep a regular schedule and eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise. Focus on taking care of yourself -- and if you're having trouble getting past your grief, see a therapist. With some gentle guidance, you can get on with your life -- and still enjoy your wonderful memories.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.