Suffering is…?

There are a few legendary quotes, the quotes that are passes down from one generation to the other, the quotes that mark the beginning of dramatic speeches. These quotes are often inspiring, however some of them happen to be questionable. One of them is something I saw on Tumblr recently, and my mind turned into a rumble of thoughts.

“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”

Well, I beg to differ.

Suffering isn’t really as much of an option, than it is a naturally elicited response. In my opinion, suffering is a state, a state that humans (or rather most animals) are pushed into when hurt. Physical suffering, of course, is inevitable, unless we supply everyone who is literally hurt with infinite amount of morphine. However, it is the emotional, and therefore the deeper suffering, that I am talking about.

Pain is never the same for two people, and it would be irrational to expect so. Likewise, suffering isn’t evenly distributed among humanity, and I am glad it is not. Suffering is a rather important check box to determine whether or not the mass of cells in question is human. Without suffering, there would be no empathy or sympathy. A person who suffers is a person who cares. In my opinion, it is safe to state that suffering is directly proportionate to the attachment we have to that situation or people.

It is inevitable, simple because it’s vital. Be it because of social reasons or evolutionary reasons, suffering is innate in us. It is crucial for us to suffer, in order to grow and learn and change for the good. The intensity perhaps is variable, but the existence of suffering is not a matter of choice but a matter of fact.

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