Fandango’s Provocative Question #141


Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

An article that popped up on my iPhone’s newsfeed this past week suggested that human suffering is important and even beneficial. It alleged that suffering can make us more resilient, better able to endure hardships, and that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters. It also said that suffering — from aging and death to heartbreak and disappointment — is an inevitable part of life.

So my question to you this week has to do with suffering.

“Suffering” by Paula Heffel at

Do you agree that human suffering can be beneficial and that suffering is a necessary part of the human condition? Why or why not?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

20 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question #141

  1. Marleen October 27, 2021 / 7:04 am

    I do agree that suffering can be beneficial. It is also inevitable. I do NOT believe in trying to create suffering… for the heck of it, I mean. (Specific punishment for wrongdoing is different.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kajmeister26 October 27, 2021 / 8:01 am

    Of course, suffering is inevitable and can be beneficial ( we all learn from painful experiences, sometimes more than from good experiences). But I’m always suspicious of articles that go to lengths to explain this. That’s because they can stem from those in power (or influencers who support the status quo) trying to resist change. The Catholic church used the “suffering is good” excuse to support oppression of women and other cultures. Today, we extol the virtues of Hard Work and support those who do “dirty, painful jobs” rather than examining whether we should reduce the dirt, pollution, or suffering that is a byproduct of those jobs. Instead of puritanically lauding the value of suffering, I humbly suggest we work more on reducing it. ((But it’s a good provocative topic.))

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen October 27, 2021 / 10:17 am


      Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango October 27, 2021 / 11:01 am

      I agree that, from a macro sense, we need to do everything we can to reduce the root causes of suffering imposed by society upon the poor and disadvantaged. Unfortunately: Republicans don’t seem to care.


  3. rugby843 October 27, 2021 / 10:17 am

    I think you are talking degrees here. Joe A’s suffering could be he can‘t afford Starbucks anymore, while Joe B is having chemo for cancer treatment. Everyone thinks they suffer in some way.

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango October 27, 2021 / 3:42 pm

      Degrees per individual and between an individual’s suffering and suffering imposed upon us by society and governments.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango October 27, 2021 / 3:47 pm

      Yeah, I thought it was a rather “chewy” question and I’m finding that reading other’s responses, including yours, are fascinating. Thanks for taking the time to share your thought, Melanie.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. aguycalledbloke October 27, 2021 / 1:09 pm

    I think suffering can be beneficial to a person. Of course one could simply request for another to define suffering.

    Some people have what others perceive as an easy or easier life BUT how can any of us know what journeys another person has walked unless we have walked in their same shoes? How do we know what burdens they carry daily?

    We don’t.

    So how does one perceive and define suffering anyway?

    Sure, hardship makes you stronger – as they say suffering can make you a better or a bitter person, ultimately like belief it comes down to your own beliefs in you as a person.

    Suffering can allow us to appreciate life more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango October 27, 2021 / 3:54 pm

      You’re right, Rory, we can’t know for sure the nature or depth of another’s suffering. But we can be pretty sure that, to one degree or another, we’ve all experienced suffering of some nature.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nope, Not Pam October 28, 2021 / 2:19 am

    I sure do, when my husband left me I realised I could stand on my own feet and thrive,instead of being a dependant

    Liked by 1 person

  6. leigha66 November 16, 2021 / 12:40 pm

    This is a tough one. I know we can’t have flowers without sun and rain and some look at rain as a negative, but you absolutely need it. Now I have been through tough times, illness, and hurt but it all made me who I am today. Eleven years ago I was terrified of leaving my then husband but I did it for me and my daughter’s peace of mind from his drinking. Now this year I found it a little less scary to leave my relationship to protect my mental health one again. I think the past years have made me stronger. What is the saying, no pain, no gain?

    Liked by 1 person

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