PC: Karl Bauer

I wish Pain Upon You

An introduction to Amor Fati, with a hint of Apatheia

Michael Trịnh
6 min readAug 11, 2019


It’s probably easy for you to look back and remember a time where you got angry at something that seemed objectively crappy, something just plain crappy. Think for just a minute and you can probably remember that thing:

You got laid off from your dream job, you got rejected from your dream school, the girl you liked and thought you vibed with turned you down when you asked her out, the list goes on…

At first, it makes sense to look at these things as just agonizing things that bring pain. Would you ever want to live in a world where you get rejected every time you ask someone out or a world where every job posting and opportunity turns its back on you?

You should get hurt, here’s why…

It’s safe to say you’d never want to live that kind of life, let alone put anyone you love and care for through it. It’s unlikely you would even condemn the guy at the gym who doesn’t put back his weights to such a fate!

Yet we experience bad things like rejection quite often in our lives, and that becomes the pain archived in our past. Most people agree that we can’t live our lives without pain, but with that said we still persist as human beings do, to find happiness.

That is unless you’re the man Friedrich Nietzsche, a famous German Philosopher from the late 1800’s. Nietzsche’s life was filled with problems, including estrangement from his mother and father, constant financial trouble because his work disagreed with the opinions of most intellectuals back then, and rejection from the love of his life 3 times over.

He’s the guy that when asked about his troubles, passionately replied:

“To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities — I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only…



Michael Trịnh

Undergraduate builder & researcher @UofT in the crossroads of bioinformatics, immunology, and genome engineering.