It’s a Wonderful, Hard Life

There are parts of a ship which taken by themselves would sink. The engine would sink. The propeller would sink. But when the parts of a ship are built together, they float. So with the events of my life. Some have been tragic. Some have been happy. But when they are built together, they form a craft that floats and is going someplace.
-Ralph Sockman

Life is great. Life is hard. It is full of joy and full of pain. We are showered with gifts and stricken with grief.

To live a full life, avoiding pain and grief is as self-defeating as avoiding joy. Just as the appreciation of a warm spring day is amplified by months of uncomfortable cold, joy in life is amplified by the moments of pain.

Through inspiration and spiritual growth, we usually find that we are able to laugh more, smile more and be energized by gratitude. We also may find that we cry more, grieve more deeply and are more in-tune with the grief of those near us.

When we choose to truly experience life, we are accepting a package that puts us in touch with our hearts, with what we may think of as humanity. This package contains heartfelt pain and sadness that can be overwhelming at times. It also carries tools to live each moments to the fullest, to generate memories of joy we can carry forever, to face fear and reject worry and to experience a connection with God and other people that assures we never have to feel alone.

We also have the choice to reject this package as I had done for much of my life in the past. Years ago, I accepted the apathy package which contains few tears and denies pain. Its tools include workaholism, predictability, obsession and compulsion, limited intimacy and profound loneliness.

It is a tough choice to make, and getting in touch with your humanity can be very frightening. For me, the time came when the thought of someday looking back on a cold, lonely, directionless life was much more frightening.

About the author


I am Danny Kohn, writer and designer for this site and owner, software engineer and consultant for Inspirations Software Design. My three greatest passions in life are sharing time with my family, software design and sharing inspiration with others. I have the incredible privilege of being able to spend a significant amount of time every day doing each of those three things. I am a single father of Tristen, our 6 year old son. It has been such an incredible joy to watch him grow up and learn so much. Everything he does and says overwhelms me with adoration. We have a wonderful evening ritual of reading books together in a beanbag chair. Nearly every night, we have a laughing attack together. I smile and giggle constantly in his presence and feel truly inspired.

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  1. Jo and JD says:

    I so enjoy your postings. Thank you for your visit to my blog. I pop in and out of yours for my dose of inspiration and always leave feeling good inside.


  1. Making Painful Decisions : Be Inspired Every Day says:

    […] that gives us little or no joy. But, a painless life is a joyless life. As I wrote previously in It’s a Wonderful, Hard Life, “To live a full life, avoiding pain and grief is as self-defeating as avoiding joy.” […]

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