“You can’t enjoy life if you don’t know what suffering is,” says Rob Fazio.
It was by happenstance that I was tuned into Neil Cavuto on 9/11. Love Cavuto, I mean who doesn’t…but typically I am on radio and deadlines at that hour of the day eliminating any chance I would have of catching Cavuto. I’ve often said, not sure why Cavuto didn’t get the 8 pm slot of that network. He is a significant talent. But I digress.
The story of Ronald C. Fazio, Sr. is well documented. But for those who have not followed the story of this incredible man and his family. His son, Rob Fazio is the founder and President of a September 11th inspired nonprofit organization, Hold The Door For Others.
Aptly named because that is what Ronald Fazio did on that fateful morning of 9/11. “He immediately told people to leave, to get out” says his son Rob.
As the family explains; Ron sensed the urgency and encouraged his colleagues to evacuate the building. They would later learn from his coworkers that Ron literally held the door open for them as they made their way to the stairs, convincing people along the way to leave. His wife, Janet, heard countless stories of his bravery,
“He went back in, after he held the door for so many, he went back to the other side of the building to tell them to get out, too.”
These actions surprise nobody who knew him, “That’s what made my dad who he was, he was always putting other people before himself,” his eldest son, Ron Jr., said.
So I heard Rob Fazio, the son of 9/11 hero, Ronald C. Fazio, Sr. say these words on Neil Cavuto’s show:
“You can’t enjoy life if you don’t know what suffering is.”
I realized at that very moment, That’s it. That is the problem. We don’t know what suffering is!
The Next Leap Forward
Life is meant to be lived. You can’t put life in a shelter. You can’t over protect young minds with mistruths. You can not avoid the downs, the lows, or the shift that propels you to the next chapter in your life. And you can not completely eradicate any level of suffering in your life.
If you do, then you’re not living life, and you will be shortchanged along the way.
So what is suffering? Suffering is defined as an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an individual.
There are many words in the english language that can describe suffering: hardship, distress, misery, wretchedness, adversity, tribulation; pain, agony, anguish, trauma, torment, torture, hurt, affliction, sadness, unhappiness, sorrow, grief, woe, angst, heartache, heartbreak, stress; literary dolor.
Do you know of any human being who has not experienced some of these descriptives?
We will each experience suffering on some level. There should be no argument about that.
The difference is those that learn to embrace that moment of suffering. For they will be light years ahead of those that stay in denial, frustrated as hell, and mad at the world.
It’s at those moments of suffering where we learn the most. It is why we appreciate the next chapter. A simple walk. A moment of sunshine. A laugh from a stranger. The weather change in autumn. A sunset in the hands of a loved one.
Simply put, we are better beings when we experience and more so, embrace – all the emotions of humankind.
Live those emotions. Embrace them. Learn from them. Cherish them. Find the good in each moment of your life.
Turn your silver-linings into golden moments of truth.
I love the simple-gentle-human-kindness that Ronald C. Fazio, Sr. showed all of us on that day. And yes his family suffered greatly.
I further love that his family rose to the occasion of a man worthy of a legacy of greatness, and they delivered.
Ronald C. Fazio, Sr. left his family with a story worthy of the man he was and the life he lived on the brink of greatness.