„We do not recognize our souls until they are in pain.“

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James O’Barr
amerikanischer Comiczeichner 1960
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„To us Germans everything is religion. What we do we do not merely with our hands and brains, but with our hearts and souls. This has often become a tragic fate for us.“

—  Baldur von Schirach German Nazi leader convicted of crimes against humanity in the Nuremberg trial 1907 - 1974
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„We need to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation. We have lost our way. And it begins with inspiration. It begins with leadership.“

—  Michelle Obama lawyer, writer, wife of Barack Obama and former First Lady of the United States 1964
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„It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul.“

—  William Styron, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
Context: There is a region in the experience of pain where the certainty of alleviation often permits superhuman endurance. We learn to live with pain in varying degrees daily, or over longer periods of time, and we are more often than not mercifully free of it. When we endure severe discomfort of a physical nature our conditioning has taught us since childhood to make accommodations to the pain’s demands — o accept it, whether pluckily or whimpering and complaining, according to our personal degree of stoicism, but in any case to accept it. Except in intractable terminal pain, there is almost always some form of relief; we look forward to that alleviation, whether it be through sleep or Tylenol or self-hypnosis or a change of posture or, most often, through the body’s capacity for healing itself, and we embrace this eventual respite as the natural reward we receive for having been, temporarily, such good sports and doughty sufferers, such optimistic cheerleaders for life at heart. In depression this faith in deliverance, in ultimate restoration, is absent. The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come — not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute. If there is mild relief, one knows that it is only temporary; more pain will follow. It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul. So the decision-making of daily life involves not, as in normal affairs, shifting from one annoying situation to another less annoying — or from discomfort to relative comfort, or from boredom to activity — but moving from pain to pain. One does not abandon, even briefly, one's bed of nails, but is attached to it wherever one goes. VI

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