Tuesday, July 19, 2011

enough suffering

If life were likened unto a marathon, we would not call the stress of running the race a hardship or tragedy; it would be called a feat of skill and endurance; something runners would seek--and in the case of prestigious races--be honored to qualify for. I must hold that life is "the good race."

Now, there are things that happen or could happen in a race that would be classified as suffering, such as if spectators were throwing objects at the runners, or if the runners were feeling angry toward each other . . . Naguib Mahfouz (Egyptian writer and Nobel Prize laureate) spoke once of "artificial tragedies of man's own making, such as ignorance, poverty, exploitation, violence, brutality, etc. . . . tragedies that can be remedied."

In 1985 Gordon B. Hinckley made a statement that holds out to me the possibility of remedying artificial tragedies rather than resigning ourselves that this is the way things are: "We live in a world where peace exists only by reason of a balance of terror. I have often thought that if great numbers of the women of all nations were to unite and lift their voices in the cause of peace, there would develop a worldwide will for peace which could save our civilization and avoid untold suffering, misery, plague, starvation, and the death of millions" (Ensign November 1985).


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