We live in equilibrium of pain and pleasure, happiness and sadness. As my friend said once, living is nothing but the response to these two stimuli. We try to repel pain and suffering, as happiness and pleasure attract us.
However, is it as simple as that? I mean, can we always identify what and where pain and pleasure are? Can the idea of seeking pleasure in pain in masochistic terms make sense in explaining this anomaly? How about people who, out of free choice and sense, choose to suffer for higher values and beliefs, for the sake of those who are born in misery, who live in misery and who die in misery; whose lives are nothing but killing fields of their humanity and potentiality? Do such people enjoy pain, or enjoy fighting for their values? For the joy of not being in chains, of not being submissive, and of breaking the chains?
They suffer excruciating pains for what they believe. Why don't they give it up? Of course many do, but how about those who don't? Is it because they want to show their endurance in the marathon of struggle for justice and freedom? Or because they are full of hatred for their enemies and take pleasure in giving those power holders a hard time, even if they lose sense and reason for their struggle? Is it for fame and power? There are people who use the misery and suffering of the masses as a ladder to climb to power and fame. Human history is full of them.
However I am talking about those who just can't stand injustice, who can't sleep in their bed in peace when they know they haven't done anything to challenge it or done their share in eradicating oppression. About the ones who don't seek personal glory or power and fame; those who very much prefer to remain anonymous in their struggle if they can unless they are pushed forward by a wave of events, or who are left at the front not because they seek power or fame or take pleasure in leading, but because they cannot be anywhere else if they want to remain sincere and gallant followers of what they sincerely believe with their hearts, minds and souls?
For them, life is a mixture of pain and pleasure. They endure suffering not for the sake of it, not because they seek pleasure in it, not because it may generate admiration among others, not to prove their endurance to themselves and others. They go through it because they have no alternative. Their belief, passion and commitment make them to go through. They do it because they are free people and are left with no way to maintain their freedom other than to struggle for it, and to endure the horrendous suffering that is concomitant with it.
And pleasure? Obviously, the prime of pleasure is victory, the glorious and kind victory of justice and freedom. Even the oppressors will become free by it.
And before that? What pleasure and joy can one receive before that? The pleasure of the struggle for it.
Is there any pleasure in this? Maybe it is the peace and tranquillity which comes about as a result of knowing that they are on the right side, that what they are doing is right, while still questioning the reasons for what you think is right. However, as long as they haven't proved otherwise, they continue the struggle.
Still, I haven't answer the question properly yet.