Suffering and perspective

March 18, 2021

By Jeff Becraft

Suffering has a way of shifting our perspective.

Whether it be an illness, a death of a loved one, a disappointment or whatever it is.

Often times, suffering of any kind can have a tendency to take us into a fog or even a dark hole.  At least that can happen with me.

But when I am in the midst of the suffering, say in a deep illness, what I thought was so important in day to day life or what I was so upset about before about what was not going right or whatever….  doesn’t seem as important in the light (darkness?) of that suffering.  I get a new perspective.

The things I took for granted or the things I should have been thankful for all along, now take on new meaning.

I don’t like to suffer.  And I don’t look for it.  And the suffering I ever go through is extremely small in comparison to what many people in the world have to face.  There are family members and friends and people I don’t even know who are going through a lot more than what I have to deal with.

But even on a smaller scale, say when I am going through an illness or when the dental office’s Captain Hook catches my gum instead of my tooth, I think about all the people in the world who don’t even have a doctor or dentist to go to.  It rouses my compassion for them.

It also makes my heart… thankful.  Thankful for things that I had taken for granted before… or maybe even complained about.

I was talking to one of our financial supporters this week and we were talking about what a year it has been.  And then she said, “You know, though, there has been a lot of good in this year.”  She is right.

Each of us has our burdens, and we should help one another carry those burdens… but in the midst of those burdens, let’s look for what we can be thankful for.  Thankfulness can shine light into the darkness.

It is a great day to be thankful,


Jeff Becraft is the Executive Director for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives.  Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at [email protected].