"Great pleasure is hard to get. Pleasure in most cases is something you have to go outside your control to attain. It is often contingent upon others. But pain you can manufacture yourself--physical pain or emotional pain. So why not privilege pain over pleasure? Moreover, pleasure does not strengthen. Pleasure does not produce heightened confidence. Pleasure makes one weak and soft, unprepared. Pain hardens and strengthens, tests, forces introspection, and the memory of its endurance is lasting.

The pleasures I have known have not been memorable--I cannot easily summon their memory and the experience of them has not altered me in any significant way. The pleasure left quickly and I had to start looking for it again. Those who have endured great pain I find to have much depth-- pain has separated them from the others. While the pleasure seekers I have lived around are some of the least interesting people I have known."

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