Here's a fun little experiment that you can do at home.
What you'll need:
- Two people besides yourself
- A shovel
- Some rope
Now, spend some time talking to the person that you didn't hit with the shovel. Try to explain to him just how much it hurts to be whacked in the head. Use the unconscious body of the whacking victim as a visual aid perhaps. Be sure to point out all the blood. Explain how shocking, how intense the pain is. Talk about how pissed off being whacked makes you, and how sad and betrayed you feel.
Note that your non-victim will try to understand the kind of pain that you're talking about, but for the most part he's just taking your word for it. A part of him probably thinks you're exaggerating a little. He'll get it, but only at the most basic level. He cannot fully understand, because he hasn't gone through it. His imagination can only take him so far.
Now wait for your whacking victim to regain consciousness. You may want to tie him up first, for your own protection, so use the rope. You remembered the rope, right?
Once the whackee is awake, talk to him about the pain and the sadness and the feeling of betrayal.
Note that you hardly have to say a word. He simply understands, because he's experienced it all. He knows all about the pain, the betrayal, the need for revenge, the desire to curl up and die, or at least heal a little. He knows it because he's living it.
I wonder, if Annie Sullivan hadn't been nearly blind as a child - would she have been able to understand Helen Keller's disabilities enough to help her the way she did? Or would she have simply pitied her?