Turning Pain Into Victory

Source: A Reflection of Goodwill taken from “É Urgente Reeducar!” [It Is Urgent to Reeducate], 2010. | Updated in March 2020.
Reprodução BV

William James

As spiritual and human beings, we should not doubt our ability to achieve what today is seemingly impossible. We are more than capable of overcoming problems, however enormous we consider them to be, according to what the American physician, psychologist, philosopher, and writer William James (1842-1910) affirms: “Most people live, whether physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness, and of their soul’s resources in general, much like a man who . . . should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger. Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed.”

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If the struggles are bigger, our talents for overcoming them will be even greater. If it were not so, where would we be today if those who preceded us over the centuries had become discouraged? The worst tragedy is to give up because of the world’s adversities. This is failing those who trust us. Fueled by their Faith, those who came before us transformed pain into victory.

José de Paiva Netto is a writer, journalist, radio broadcaster, composer, and poet. He is the President of the Legion of Good Will (LGW), effective member of the Brazilian Press Association (ABI) and of the Brazilian International Press Association (ABI-Inter). Affiliated to the National Federation of Journalists (FENAJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Union of Professional Journalists of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Writers of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Radio Broadcasters of Rio de Janeiro, and the Brazilian Union of Composers (UBC). He is also a member of the Academy of Letters of Central Brazil. He is an author of international reference in the concept and defense of the cause of Ecumenical Citizenship and Spirituality which, according to him, constitute “the cradle of the most generous values that are born of the Soul, the dwelling of the emotions and of the reasoning enlightened by intuition, the atmosphere that embraces everything that transcends the ordinary field of matter and comes from the elevated human sensitivity, such as Truth, Justice, Mercy, Ethics, Honesty, Generosity, and Fraternal Love.”