The esteemed author, poet, and activist James Baldwin once observed, opens a new window, “I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” As we ponder the constant onslaught of bad news that we have all been forced to absorb, on a daily basis, during the last few years, we acknowledge one truth:
The human spirit is not meant to process so much pain, all in a relatively short amount of time.
So what does that mean?
As for physical pain, scientists believe, opens a new window, “(t)here is no ultimate threshold for pain in human beings. Researchers’ best guess is that the maximum pain a human can tolerate is somewhere higher than 11 dol (a unit of measurement for pain) - somewhere between childbirth and taking a blowtorch to your face.”
How about emotional pain? Emotional pain is often thought of as being less serious than physical pain, but scientists routinely acknowledge, opens a new window that emotional pain will often manifest in our lives with the following symptoms:
- Deep sorrow, sadness, or depression
- Intense distress
- Loneliness and isolation
- Negative emotions
These “psychosomatic, opens a new window” symptoms are very real to people who experience them and most often require the assistance of medical professionals to cope.
And what about the hate, opens a new window? What are we to do with displays of intolerance and outright hatred that are on the rise in all of our communities?
The Alameda County Library has chosen an ethos of kindness and connectedness, opens a new window, in all of the communities that we serve. As always, we appreciate your continued support.
Here are some books to help you better process the world around you:
We are living in tough times. There is so much to process and we are expected to absorb it all at a frenetic pace. Use these books to help you navigate through this world, treating yourself with compassion and kindness along the way.