Time May Be a Great Healer, but it’s a Terrible Beautician.
“Time is a great healer.” You have often heard that, but have you ever paused to think how absurd a statement it is?
Time itself does not act. Only one who has a will, only one who has a mind and purpose of his own, can act. A healer is one who knows what pain is, who loves life and seeks to prolong and improve it. Time is an abstraction, the span of moments or of days within which actions occur. Therefore, time itself cannot heal us.
When we say, “Time is a great healer” we mean that apparently without man’s intervention our bodies and our spirits are mended. This is true. However, while man does not intervene, a great doctor, unseen to the human eye, does the work of healing. Our grief gradually recedes, the bruises in our skin disappear, and the ache in our hearts gives way. God who formed life endowed it with amazing recuperative powers. The process of recuperation takes time, but the restorer of health is He who is also the giver of life—Almighty God.
God is the great Healer and He heals in time.
Have you ever met a perfectly healthy person? I am certain that you have not, because such a person does not exist. Everyone suffers from some deficiency, from some impairment of one organ or another.
In addition, what is true of physical health is true of mental health. No life is perfectly serene, without some distress, without some grief.
We have already said that the air contained a variety of different substances, salts, metals, sculptures, and such-like; these when uniting with the surfaces of planetary bodies must naturally corrode them, as we see aqua forties, which is made of a mineral acid, rust iron.
Success Cannot Be Pursued; it Must Ensue
All the same, our failure to recognize this necessity often causes far more pain in the end. It prevents us from mourning our losses properly, submitting to uncomfortable medical tests and treatments, and removing splinters. In fact, our power to endure necessary pain and to delay satisfaction in general has been shown to be more strongly correlated with success than high IQ or even educational layer. Resiliency of this kind may, in fact, be the key to happiness.
Separate scales were created to ascertain for these apparent gender differences and, using the two separate scales, men and women did not differ in hostility. Even so, before we begin to assess the efforts of this flexible power, it will not be wrong to inquire from whence the power itself proceeds. The thing indeed recommends itself, and must do so to every person, whose heart is adequate two of the least tincture of compassion for such vast numbers of poor forlorn Indians.
Fledged affection, homage, devotion, does not easily convey itself. Its vocalization is low. It is modest and self-effacing; it lays in lying in wait and waits. Such is the mature fruit. Sometimes a life glides away, and finds it still ripening in the shade. The light inclinations of very young people are as dust compared to rocks. The Austrian psychiatrist and holocaust survivor Viktor E. Frankl wrote about success in his treatise Man’s Search for Meaning:
Again and again I therefore admonish my students in Europe and America: Don’t aim at success—the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.
That is encouraging to people who are afraid to start the recitation—to know that relating directly with your suffering is a doorway to welfare for yourself and others, rather than some kind of masochism. Thus then, continues Leibnitz, we have two kinds of forces; dead forces, which are as the weight multiplied by the velocity; and animated forces, which are as the weight multiplied by the squares of the velocity. Moreover, the people are powerless to do anything about it. Only people enjoying affluence, people on a run of good luck, make fun of such fallacies.