As a kid, I was never afraid of death, but I was extremely afraid of pain. Pain of getting sick, pain of being alone…
Then, I realized that the reason why I was so scared of pain was because I classified it as something ‘bad’ and ‘negative’ towards me.
However, the idea of judging life as what’s ‘good’ or what’s ‘bad’ is such a primitive way to think. How can we see that the ‘good’ in our life is solely good and that the ‘bad’ in our life is solely bad? Our perception of what’s good and what’s bad is based on our set of values and these set of values are fixed throughout our early childhood and can be slowly edited throughout the rest of our lives.
For example, if I was raised in a family that cherishes the importance of proper schooling, my set of values would contain the ‘good’, which means getting good grades, attending school, listening to what the teacher says, and the ‘bad’, which means failing a class, disobeying the rules of the school…
However, if I was raised in a family that held high value for artistic creativity, the ‘good’ would include expressing myself through a particular medium and the ‘bad’ would include focusing all my time on proper schooling.
For me, pain itself cannot be denoted as something ‘good’ or something ‘bad’. It’s important to not commit yourself to a single side.
As Hayao Miyazaki said, “You must see with eyes unclouded by hate. See the good in that which is evil, and the evil in that which is good. Pledge yourself to neither side, but vow instead to preserve the balance that exists between the two.”
Pledging yourself to one side immediately disrupts the balance and the result is conflict.
Remaining even at the center and calmly observing any situation without letting your set of values interfere will, in my opinion, lead to harmony.