Everyone I know suffers regularly from some sort of physical pain. As a women, I suffer pain by default
, in addition to things that have been done to me or things I've done to myself that inflict pain. Most people want simply for the pain to stop, whatever it takes. Others, who are told that their pain will not be assured to go away with available treatments, often undergo pain management
instead of being unsure of relief. I'd go as far as to say that if we could be plagued with ailments throughout our lives and yet not sustain any pain from them, it wouldn't really matter what was wrong with us.
I would not go so far as to discuss the impact of an invention that would make us immortal, since by comparison it is too unrealistic to use as a theoretical scenario to pose some questions. Living forever is a concept often too far beyond our capacity, but living without pain is not. It is, in many ways, the way we seek to live. Keep in mind I am speaking only of physical pain, pain that doctors and anyone close to you knows for sure is real and actual, even though, as in the case with other forms of pain, it is seldom visible unless you're seeing bones pop up through skin or things like that.
Imagine being affected by some invention, be it a serum or a catheter or being hooked up to a machine for a month in an isolation chamber, that renders you unaffected by physical pain permanently. Or, to be more specific, say it was done to you after you had lived long enough to recognize and identify physical pain. Let's avoid the prenatal prevention idea for now. You could be dying from cancer from never quitting smoking or your heart was wearing out from your coke habit or your simple body aches and pains from too much tackle football or skateboarding mishaps as a child were all of a sudden gone. And say that the treatment could be removed or reversed, turning you back to normal if you wished.
How would this change human sympathy, charity, kindness, grace, forgiveness? How would it affect the booming health and self-improvement industry, or the fashion market? How would our lives change? How many things are linked to things as simple as pain that pleasure alone cannot counterbalance? Would we die sooner or later? Would even AIDS scare us?
I know that pain is not a blanket term you can use for all things, all ailments. But it is something we will all inevitably have in common, as long as we are all sharing the same present time and regardless of what any of us envision as an afterlife. For all the complications, contradictions, and frustrations pain brings with it, I can't help but feel that I need mine. Do you need yours?
I would tempted to know what feeling no pain would be like, but you have to wonder which line would be longer.