It’s Time To Learn From Professor Pain.

by Patrick Liew on August 16, 2019

It’s Time To Learn From Professor Pain.

When my children were younger, my family and I were avid jungle trekkers.

Almost every school holiday, we would be on some obscure trails and bashing through a jungle.

On one trip, we were staying in a small guesthouse in Thailand before setting off on another trekking trip.

This was one of those “self-service” lodges.

In other words, there were hardly any service staff.

You had to do everything on your own.

One morning, I went to the kitchen to prepare a sandwich.

I held a glass can of peanut butter on my left hand and with my right hand, I tried to remove the lid.

I did not realise that the glass was not strong enough to withstand the grip of my left hand.

I crushed the can, cleaving it and producing razor sharp fragments.

Many of the fragments pierced and sliced through my flesh.

I screamed in pain and that got almost everyone running to me.

Meanwhile, blood was gushing unceasingly from my wounds, and especially from the wounds on my left thumb.

A large piece of jagged glass had cut through part of my thumb.

All I saw was blood spurting all over my hand and on the floor.

An employee from the guesthouse helped me into his van, and rushed me and my family to the local clinic.

In my pain, it seemed like we took ages to reach our destination.

When I first laid eyes on the run-down village clinic, to say I was not impressed would be an understatement.

Quite literally, I feared for my life.

Many questions ran through my mind.

Did they have a qualified doctor to man the clinic?

Would the doctor have the right medical equipment and medicine?

Could he stop the haemorrhage and sew up the wound?

The most scary question and the one that I tried desperately to keep away from my mind and from my worried family was – Would this be the last day of my life?

Many years later, my oldest daughter told me that in her childish naivete, she thought I would not survive.

In case you are reading my posting for the first time, please be assured, I am alive.

At least the last time I checked, I was still alive.

However, I still bear the scar of that experience on my left thumb.

To complete my story, there was a doctor at the clinic. He had a faded white overalls that must have seen many a medical crisis.

He brought me to a corner, and drawled a curtain to give us some privacy.

The curtain was not terribly useful; outsiders could easily look at me as it was translucent.

Although I wasn’t administered an anaesthetic, I could not remember how the doctor stopped the bleeding and closed the wound.

I had turned my face away, leaving my life in his hands.

For weeks after that, I was still in pain.

The pain however was not as tormenting as the fear that the doctor might have left remnants of glass inside my hand and body.

In my wildest moments, I imagined myself transforming into “The Glass Man.”

As a result of the freak accident, I would become an accidental super hero with power to turn my enemies into crystal.

And like a good entrepreneur, I would trade the human-shaped crystal for piles of money to save the world.

When I thought about the frightening experience, I couldn’t help asking myself:

Why did our Creator allow pain in life?

Why did He not prevent the accident from happening?

Why did He not heal me immediately, after all He was more than able to do it?

Why did He allow suffering to continue in my life?

These are deep philosophical questions and despite our search, humanity has not been able to come out with any satisfactory answer.

I don’t pretend I can resolve such imponderables.

However, there are important lessons that I have learned from painful experiences in the past.

I have learned that pain is a messenger.

There is meaning in suffering.

Every scar in your life bears its own purpose.

The scar that remains can serve to remind you that there is significance in pain – if you search deep enough for its purpose for yourself.

Living a good life is not about whether you go through sunshine or storm in life but how you make full use of the passing seasons and whether you can still dance through a storm.

Every situation that we you go through is a classroom in life.

Pain and problems are some of the best teachers.

Sadness and sorrow are part and parcels of their curriculum.

There is a positive purpose for every moment and there is meaning in every experience.

We need to go beyond achieving success in every endeavour to live out its spiritual significance.

The circumstances in our lives are powerful catalysts to help correct, coach and channel us to adopt the right conduct in life.

How we extract the lessons and apply them to become a better person depends on our conscientious choice, discipline, and action.

In doing so, pain can be a platform and not a pitfall in life.

It can help you develop a positive character, values, and other qualities to succeed in life.

Every pain and sorrow can also inspire you to reach out to others who are suffering in life.

And understand their pain because you’re going through it or have gone through it.

You can offer comfort to those who are in need of comfort.

When you see painful experiences in this light, it can make you a stronger and better person.

Therefore, embrace pain but don’t succumb to it.

You are bigger than pain.

Accept pain but don’t be resigned to it.

Pain is not a part of you, neither should it be treated apart from you.

Don’t run away from it or pretend it’s not there.

The painful message must be urgent enough to come to you with such a strong signal and impact.

The better you respond to the pain, the faster the pain can be transformed into a gain.

Pain is not a stumbling block but a stepping stone. It can start a process of improvements and a movement for the good of the people around you.

Back to my story, that experience in Thailand was another turning point in my life.

I aim to help the people around me rise up from pits of darkness – one person at a time and one experience at a time.

Strangely, the more I help others remove darkness from their life, the more the darkness in my life will gradually disappear.

When I am able to totally focus on a worthwhile mission, after awhile I don’t even notice my own darkness anymore.

At the right time, the enlightening light of our Creator would obliterate the remaining darkness.

I will be free.

Question: How can you leverage on pain to fulfill a purposeful mission?


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on

Please visit my website,

Follow me on:

Visit my Inspiration blog at

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at

Let’s connect on
– via @patrickliewsg

https: //
– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn

My Quora

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Powered by Facebook Comments

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: