Suffering is inevitable in human life. Nobody is immune to it. The moment we are born in this world we are destined for our quota of pain and misery. We cannot wish it away nor can we escape it. This article looks at some at most common causes of human misery. By being aware of these causes we are better prepared to face pain and misery head on
A look at the roots of suffering …
Desire : This is by far the most common and most prevalent cause of pain and suffering in this world. We want more, we want better, we want bigger than before. This desire and this want of ours remains in our lives and cannot be easily removed. The Gita clearly stresses that “desire is the root of all suffering” and we should overcome this desire of ours.
Ego: This is another major contributor to agony in life. We are nothing more than “walking egos”. We feel we are better, smarter and cleverer than most of humanity. When this ego of ours is hurt in anyway we feel truly miserable. Our egos are crushed when we are insulted or humiliated. We just fail to understand why the world cannot acknowledge our greatness. While we should rid ourselves of our swollen egos we should never compromise in our self-pride. Self-pride and self-esteem are extremely important for successful living.
Expectation: We generally expect the world to behave in a certain way. When things do not happen to our expectation we feel hurt. We may expect that people treat us a particular way. We may expect that our child do well in his/her studies. We may expect to be rewarded for something we do. When our expectations are not met we feel let down and miserable. To be free of misery of unfulfilled expectations we should adopt the philosophy of St. Francis of Assisi who states “Expect nothing, enjoy everything”.
Attachment: As a mortal we are attached to people, to things and hopes. When we are forced to part with our children, when we have to suffer losses in the family or when something that is extremely dear to us like our car is damaged we are hurt. While we can get rid of attachment to things it is very difficult to get rid of the bonds we have with our dear ones. But still we have to rise above ourselves and understand that everything in this world is transitory.
These are the most common reasons for most of human pain and misery. When we are aware of the causes behind our sadness we can address them better, mitigating to some extent at least the intensity of our suffering.