The Benefit of Sadness

art by Beth Evans

Many of us have come to believe that the good life is one that is filled with constant happiness and excitement. We forget or choose not to acknowledge that sorrow and misery are fundamental parts of human experience that we will encounter daily.

Sadness is not always a sign of a mental illness that needs to be cured or a situation that we need to escape quickly from or be drawn out of. It is an emotional state that we should seek out from time to time and be patient enough to let ourselves experience as we would happiness.

It creates a time for sober reflection during which we give ourselves the chance to be more honest about our limitations, our failures and our flaws. It reminds us of our humanity, that some things are completely out of our control, that it will not always work out the way we want it to, that bad things will happen to good people, and it is difficult for us to have everything we wish, pray or work hard for.

In the absence of anger and pain, sadness opens us up to the realization that suffering is not for us alone, that life has not singled us out to punish us, and therefore, creates an opportunity for us to sow a seed of kindness and love in each other’s lives. We come to understand that we are all in pain and it affects every single one of us irrespective of our racial, ethnic, socio-economic and religious differences.

Patiently taking its lessons to heart will make us kinder, more loving and compassionate towards those around us.



musings of a 29 year old woman living and working in Lagos, Nigeria.

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