Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an Intelligence and make it a soul. – John Keats

At the height of the Starr chamber, a wonderful friend handed me a 3X5 Index card with the above quote handwritten on it. I continue to hold on to the card. I think we all have been “schooled” by pains and troubles. Some may even feel like they never graduated or they are still living out a Kafka play. But when you do come out of a period that seems unbearable and finally have time to reflect, don’t you feel  a little wiser and a little bit more spiritual about life in general ? Don’t you see your past troubles a little differently than when you were going through them, and someone else’s problems with a little bit more empathy?

We have all seen a great athlete, a brilliant scholar, or a talented musician and thought, “ What that young man or women needs is a little humility, schooling, maturity, losses, etc. before that chip is removed from his/her shoulder and they can go on to true greatness.” Keats says pain and trouble is “necessary.” There were times when I pulled out the card and looked to heaven and said, “I can use a little less necessary. God,  I already get the picture.”  But now that time has passed, torture forgotten, and wounds healed, I can say those events helped shape a better soul. Certainly not a perfect one, far from it, but a better one.

It may not help to hear you are being “schooled” while going through a difficult time, but the reality is that pains and troubles are an essential part of the molding process and the final product if we allow it, is a work of God.

About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.

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