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Necessity Born of Suffering Is The Mother of Innovation

Sometimes in life things don’t work out the way we want them to. We all know that. Often, though, what makes all the difference is not whether a thing happens or not; whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing. The difference is always in our response to it. Pain enters our lives uninvited and usually unannounced. And then it’s up to us.  As Richard Rohr once said, “If we don’t find a way to be transformed by our pain, we will only transmit it to others.”

Well here’s an example of what one man decided to do in response to his pain, his suffering. My open question to everyone is simply this, “How have you responded to your pain?” I will put my answer below and I hope you will too.

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11 Responses to “Necessity Born of Suffering…”

  1. Eric

    Thank you everyone for your insightful comments. Pain is a tough issue in a our culture where pleasure is almost worshiped.

    I said I’d mention how I’d dealt with pain in my life and business so here goes: When I started my business I was broke (in bankruptcy), in the Army, living with my in-laws and in the middle of a lawsuit with a former employer. I had two children under 4 and my wife and I were really hurting.

    My response to this situation, while not nearly what Patrick or many others have gone through, was to at first just be stunned. I wasn’t sure what to do. In many ways I did the best I could but I wound up hurting others in my attempt to find respite. I was getting slammed from all sides and it put me to the edge, literally.

    The great part about it was that when you’ve seen your own edge, truly seen it, it’s terrifying but also it makes you see without equivocation that we are involved in something much bigger than ourselves and far beyond our own capacities. That realization is great and terrible all at the same time.

    And while I’d never want to go through that particular valley again, the “treasure” in the field was truly worth the price. It now serves as a quick, poignant reminder from time to time…taking my breath away and hopefully keeping me in a much more grateful place, a more compassionate place, looking at situations and realizing that there is so much more than we at first see. And letting me know, there is ALWAYS a way through.

  2. Mike Estes

    Hey Eric,

    Thanks for sharing! Patrick certainly knows his “True Asset”! What a great inspiration he is to so many people! I’ve certainly been blessed by his tremendous attitude!


  3. Susan

    I really enjoy seeing someone problem solve in the midst of overwhelming odds and to do it with such a great attitude. I wish when I had a problem in my business that I’d look at it like Patrick does…not a problem, not an instance for blame, just time to take a deep breath and find a way.
    Thanks Eric!

  4. Ray

    Eric, this is a great reminder that we can never tell what someone else is going through, but with a little imagination and a lot of caring, we can oftentimes speed them along their path of success. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Robby

    Awesome video,it reminds me in the mist of our own pain and struggles, God puts people in our path that help us overcome or just walk us through these times. Patricks parents are an insperation! thank you

  6. mark

    We are pounded into the shape of our purpose by the blows of the master craftsmen. Yep the blows hurt, get used to it, resistance is futile. Flow with the blows and the forming goes faster and the shapes created in the process become more handsome.

  7. Jeff Timpanaro

    Thanks a lot (both sincerely and sarcastically). Your fellow softie here needs some tissues. Great perspective, great reminder for me in my own battles with pain.

    Now, off to the cave for some barefoot spelunking and bear wrestling.
    .-= Jeff Timpanaro´s last blog ..10 Happy Factoids About Who Else? Me. =-.

  8. Larry

    Eric: great post, thanks. Many lessons/reminders are revealed by this one story, at least for me during this economy: 1) looking beyond the pain/adversity almost always leads to good things, 2) gratitude changes our altitude, 3) innovation and creativity come out of necessity, 4) alliances, if one is open, come in unsuspected ways and means, 5) in the marketplace there is really no competition, just opportunities for relationships, 6) when one looks for alignment rather than disalignment there is always a win-win that develops, 7) business it totally relationship.

  9. Thomas

    Extremely heart warming, especially for those
    of us raising special needs children. I
    identify with the initial devastation which
    accompanies the realization that selfishness
    was at the heart, not the hardships, the unknown
    and unexpected of what the future held.

    By embracing and excepting the truth, with
    thankfulness, the real truth was and is, raising
    a special needs child is one of the highest callings,
    resulting in abundant blessing beyond my wildest

    Thank you for posting this tremendous reminder
    that all life is precious and to be embraced.
    It has been the delight of my soul for 14 years
    being the father of my son Ian and his three
    older siblings have been equally blessed!

  10. Eric

    @Bill, Thank you Bill. Tears come easy when I see this type of determination!

  11. Bill


    Thanks for putting up this post. Being from Louisville I already knew about Patrick, but what a beautiful way to start the week.

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