Count Your . . . Troubles
Thursday, May 17, 2007
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
Labels: The Cure