These days it’s hard to walk through the city’s streets without seeing, the homeless men or children who have to be called beggars way too soon. And when you go back to your home, you may find it hard to enjoy the little privileges that you have, the good food you have to eat, the roof over your head. You may ask yourself, “Why do I have all this while others like me don’t? What have I done to deserve a good life while that innocent child is suffering?”
And at the same time, it’s hard to live to a mature age without having life kick you to the ground and kick you again when you’re down. It’s hard for any of us to keep going around the sun without suffering at some point.
So you might think to yourself, in a world where I am guaranteed to suffer, in a world where so many other people around me are suffering already, how is it possible to be happy?
You have to accept suffering as a necessary part of this world. That’s the first step you need to take if you wish to be happy.
Know that for humanity to be successful, for us to keep thriving and growing as a race, we must be pressed by problems now and then. If you look back at the greatest things that we have been able to accomplish, the inventions, the creations and the solutions, you will see that there were all born from pressure, discomfort, and a longing for a better life. If our world were a paradise, we would not have been forced to be creative and we would not have all the wonders we managed to create to this day.
So maybe a utopian world without suffering is not desirable after all.
But acceptance alone may not be able to take away the guilt and sadness we feel when we look at the innocent suffering unfairly. You might still think to yourself, “if there should be suffering in the world, why has life picked an innocent child to suffer while I am granted so many undeserved privileges? What did I do to not be at the bitter end of life’s cutting sword?”
If you ever do have such thoughts, let it comfort you to know that these thoughts only show that you know how lucky you are to have the life you have. You should also know that many of those who are suffering are putting up a very good fight. They are doing their best to make their lives livable, they’re being strong and resilient. Many of them are valiant warriors. So perhaps, they should not be pitied, but rather admired.
What could also make you feel better is if you start showing appreciation for what you have and giving back to the world in whatever way you can. Use your belongings responsibly, try not to waste any of the material things you are granted, and take advantage of the opportunities handed to you. Give your best always, whether it’s in school, at work or at home.
Whenever you have the chance to give the extra you have to the less fortunate, take that chance. Give back to the world in other ways too, like befriending that girl that seems to be cast out by everybody else, or speaking out for that racially profiled young man.
And with that, you may be able to live a calmer and more content life despite the destitution you see around you.
So what if you are on the receiving end of life’s cruel sword? What if you are the one struck unfairly and forced to endure undeserved pain? How do you teach yourself to be happy despite it all?
Learn to see your problems as challenges that will only bring out the best from you. Find ways to let your struggles make you better, not bitter. Remember that the best and the strongest people in the world have scars.
The struggles we face will not only make us more creative and resilient, but they will also make us more compassionate and less judgmental of other people going through the same problems. If you have gone through a period of poverty, and you know how hard it is to escape that, you won’t dare say those living in dire destitution are there by choice.
The pressure and heat you face in life is only there to turn you into a diamond. So in with whatever problems you’re facing, put up a good fight and know that there is a better you at the end of the tunnel.
And as always, cheers to life!