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Pain and suffering are inevitable; misery is optional

Your conversations with Joe about dealing with suffering resonated with the above saying I heard and adopted recently.

I am a 60+ white man who had the good fortune to have had a near lifelong connection of listening to Paul Robeson since the 50s. "Old Man River" (Paul's lyric version) was the first song I sang as a performance. "Swing Low,", "Motherless Child," and "Nobody Knows" are other songs I find especially powerful. The music speaks volumes about how to deal with adversity imposed by outside forces; either of having the spirit to fight it when you can, or of living with it when you can't.

Be it slave masters, the weather, genetic problems, cancer, or any other source, there are things outside of our power to control which we need to cope with. The character of the music you spoke of fits with the saying.