The Value of…Suffering!?

So it seems that Pope John Paul has indeed severed his ties with the land of the living, giving rise to a thousand eulogies and elucidations in his wake. Everyone will not doubt be waiting with a platitude aplenty in order to fill whatever void they now feel present in the world. “Humanitarian”, “lover of peace”, “saviour of the poor” – expect all these labels and more to fall from the mouths and pens of those who should (as well as those who don’t) know better. Indeed these platitudes did indeed regurgitate from the throats of many an official spokesman and prominent religious figure, prior to today’s conclusive news. Just over twenty-four hours ago people were already paying their last respects – now I’m no Pope fan (as you may have sussed), but I felt a certain amused disdain listening to these people getting their tributary soundbites in, like vultures pecking at a carcass yet to be….

One of these religious pre-mortem rectophiles made a rather sickening (though not altogether surprising) comment in regards to the Pope’s deteriorating condition – “through his pain, he teaches us the value of suffering”, or something along those lines. Excuse me? Suffering’s a value now? Since when? Did I miss something or was I really not paying attention back in church all those years ago ? Either that, or I have a very short memory! Maybe all three.Just because something is commonplace or even expected on the road of life does that mean it has to be valued, regardless of benefit (or in this case lack of)?

I say fuck that!

It sickens me to think these guys were all beaming at a “lesson well learnt” whilst this guy was in excruciating agony. Just as it sickens me that Jesus and Socrates (figures I have a modicum of respect for, despite their faults) had to offer up their lives for ignorant, undeserving masses baying for their blood. Granted, the Pope, given his ideology, probably wouldn’t object to venerating the value of suffering, but it still doesn’t make all the smug self-righteous bastards who emphasised his plight look any better as far as I’m concerned. It’s kinda fitting that this guy saw fit to strip his ideology bare in the wake of the whole Terry Schiavo drama in the States – if he dared utter a similar proclamation in relation to that issue, he’d have been metaphorically lynched by all right-thinking people…. and rightly so!

Yes suffering does indeed hit most, if not all of us at some point in our lives, but I don’t see why it has to be worn and paraded as a badge of honour. Anyone can suffer, but not all can rise above said suffering – thus any value in suffering lies in its overcoming, rather than the suffering itself. Anyone who sees inherent value in prolonged agony per se – physical or otherwise – is simply overcompensating for a wretched state of being they lack the will, know-how, or ability to change…

…either that, or they’re sick fucks!

Both the Pope’s (slow) passing and the Terry Schiavo case reinforce my belief that life has no inherent value – what use life if you can’t live it at even a bare minimum level of comfort and dignity? What use breathing if every breath you take rewards you only with agony? It’s the quality of one’s life which makes life worth living at all….

….and many of those who fall before the cross miss this crucial point.

A stone-cold death is preferable to a living, breathing mockery of life – often, more “value” and life-affirmation can be found in the initials R.I.P than it ever can in a state of suffering unrelenting….


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