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I read books and watch movies that are devastating to remember I’m not immune to being devastated, or to prove to myself that I can still be devastated.
The war books I’m reading…I can imagine what combat is like, the fear, the brutality, but what draws me in is that I know it’s much worse for the people there. I wonder how much suffering can a person take. How much can a person bear. It seems to me that no matter who wins, or who actually lives or dies on the battle field, everyone is fatally wounded. And that is devastating.
I watched a movie last night called The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. It is one of the most brutal movies I’ve ever seen. Not because there’s overt violence. It’s brutal because the audience becomes more than mindless viewers. They are forced to become witnesses, if not of life, then of death. The ending is merciless and renders you (as the audience) a helpless victim, who’s suddenly had their entire world vaporized and turned to ashes. It will leave you in stunned disbelief, saying “no, stop, this can’t be happening…”