Isn’t There Suffering Enough?

Posted: November 9, 2011 by extremehistory in Uncategorized

A family in my community recently lost a child, a beautiful, talented, smart 15-year old boy whose life was instantly, tragically and senselessly cut short in the middle of a track meet without any understood cause. His parents, family, friends and community will feel the loss of this bright light forever. Isn’t this the very essence of suffering? The Buddha taught that life is suffering because each of us will have to endure the death of each other, our parents, siblings, friends and sometimes even the unendurable loss of children. Life itself comes preprogrammed for the devastating suffering of losing our loved ones. So why do we feel the need to heap more suffering on each other?

We live in a world filled with hatred, anger, violence and greed at every turn. Everyday we encounter it in the media, on the street, in our institutions, in our processes of trying to share this world with each other. Mothers losing children in war, families unable to feed and house their children due to the greed of our institutions, young people oppressed because of their ancestry and heritage all suffer at the hands and by the will of others, who also will or have suffered in their own way at the hands of still others. But do we ever stop to think that maybe there already is enough suffering in just existing? In trying to make sense of the loss of this beautiful child, I am reminded that life alone is suffering, and that
without suffering, we would not appreciate the richness of life. But there is no need to purposely increase our suffering with hatred, anger, violence and greed against each other. We need to treat each other with love, generosity and compassion because when you think of the tragic loss of this family, you have to ask yourself, “isn’t there suffering enough?”

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