Saturday, January 27, 2007

Pain Threshold

There's this twisted concept that some arcade machines have taken: how much pain can you tolerate? OK, so it's not pain necessarily - but I've seen one where you sit on a chair and put each hand on two metal handles attached to the chair's arms. Apparently, a shock is sent through the metal and it intensifies until you let go. I've never done it before, but my question has always been: WHY? why purposely put yourself through that, and why prolong it knowing it's only going to get worse? Now I realize: I'm a hypocrite.

My electric chair? Work, well that's the main one... Some sick factor of human nature takes control and makes me hang on to those handles. I guess what it boils down to is that it's really not about the physical pain you're going through - it's about the mental anguish caused. The chair is more of a test of how strong your mind is and how determined you actually are to hang on.

So why do we do it? Forget about outside pressures, though they are pretty influential, but internally - everyone wants that feeling of success. We feel like if we endure the pain, we'll somehow be rewarded. We'll have the bragging rights of saying "I did it - I made it." No pain, no gain, right? In the end, we'll be better off than before...

But, when it gets worse, why do we hang on? As the pain intensifies, our minds have only one thought: "Things can't possibly get worse." We still want that success, and the more pain we endure, the closer we think we are to the end of it. We twist our perception of "sh*t happens" and add "...for a reason." We thrive on finding out what that reason might be. We build our pain thresholds, and sit in the chair holding the handles, hoping to see the bright light at the end of the tunnel. If we quit now, then our prior efforts to hang on would be completely wasted.

My only question now is: what if there is no reason - are we hanging on to nothing?

"For all the lies I've tasted, Just looking for the truth
For all the dreams I'm chasing , Well what am I to do
When everything's against me
The answers are all wrong
I'm hoping that I'll find out
It was worth it all along..."
- The Calling

No comments: