Count Your . . . Troubles

The Cure, my next novel, comes out in just over a month. Like any decent novel, it asks a question. Without giving anything away about the plot, the question that got me thinking about The Cure is this:

If you could take a pill to make your troubles go away—your weaknesses, your insecurities, your ailments and your moral failings—would you do it?

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? But wait, before you answer, stop and think a moment about what your troubles are here for. That’s not a point of view we often hear considered anymore, is it? The idea that trouble could be “for” something? Yet it’s really worth a moment of your time (or perhaps enough time to read a novel—hint, hint) because after all, there is no pill to make your troubles go away. So if you’re stuck with them—and in many cases you probably are—you might as well figure out a way to make some use of them, putting them to work for you, so to speak.

Make a list of your favorite things about yourself, and then consider every item on your list. How many of those things would be there, just like that, if you had never faced a serious problem?

If self-confidence is on your list, do you have good reason for your confidence, a history that says, “I know I can do it,” or is confidence merely on your list because you’ve never had to face real trouble? Does your list include perseverance, integrity, character, hopefulness, self-control, discipline, or patience? If so, are you kidding yourself about yourself, or do you have good reasons for including attributes like those? What’s behind the best of who you have turned out to be? Might you have known some troubles?

Imagine again, if somebody handed you a pill and said, “Take this, and all your troubles will vanish in an instant.” Would you take it? Would you really?

Posted byAthol Dickson at 2:50 PM  


Rachel Hauck said... May 17, 2007 at 6:55 PM  

I'd be tempted to take it, but I wouldn't really. We are over medicated in society.

I'd want the strength of enduring.

Great blog!


mesfx65 said... May 18, 2007 at 4:27 AM  

I'd like to take it, but only if it removed FUTURE troubles. I've learned too much from past troubles to make those disappear. Then again... maybe being "only" middle-aged is too young to stop growing...

Athol said... May 18, 2007 at 8:52 AM  

Hmm... Would I take a pill to AVOID trouble? Great question. In fact, it might a question for THE CURE, PART 2. Ha!

I'm 51 years old, and I agree middle age is too early to stop growing. Any age is too early. To grow is to live, so to stop is to stop, if you see what I mean.

BJ said... May 18, 2007 at 4:03 PM  

Delighted to see you blogging, Athol. Your posts on CL and Charis Connection are always so thought provoking that I'm looking forward to more from you!


Once Upon A Dieter said... May 19, 2007 at 4:20 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mirtika said... May 19, 2007 at 4:21 PM  

Okay, I'll cop to being the only honest wuss here. YES. I'll take it.

Come on! Why is Heaven so alluring in part? Isn't it because there is "no more sorrow" and "no more crying" and "no more pain"? Yeah, we want Heaven, in part, because our troubles disappear and we get to hang with the Person we adore.

So, gimme the pill. I got the cup of water ready.


Michelle Pendergrass said... May 20, 2007 at 9:22 PM  

Mir has a point, and I wonder how many people are already popping diet and mood-altering pills as we speak?

Of course taking a pill to make the bad go away is appealing, if it wasn't--America as we know it would be entirely different.

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