Suffering is Pervasive
Suffering is pervasive — just being embodied in the “real” world is fundamentally unsatisfactory, painful. (“Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”.) The root cause of this pervasive suffering of embodied beings is that we conceive of ourselves as fundamentally self-standing entities, unconnected to and therefore in conflict with others.
Our Inner Struggles
Most of us are acutely aware of our own struggles and we are preoccupied with our own problems. We sympathize with ourselves because we see our own difficulties so clearly. But Ian MacLaren noted wisely, “Let us be kind to one another, for most of us are fighting a hard battle.”
“Do you ever think if people heard our conversations, they’d lock us up?” …
“A fight is going on inside me,” said an old man to his son. …
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” …
“I am not plain, or average or – God forbid – vanilla. …
“Maybe some things aren’t meant to be known.
People don’t act out towards others in strange, inappropriate, or hurtful ways because they’re doing well in life. They act out towards others because they’re hurting inside, because their pain is getting the better of them, or because they’re on the losing end of their own inner battle. The only times I’ve acted out towards others has been because I myself was hurting inside, or on the losing end of my own inner battle and couldn’t stand to be hurt anymore.
The Cause Doesn’t Matter
It doesn’t matter where the pain came from, and whether it was my own, or what I was getting from somebody else. We act out because we’re hurting inside. I’ve been that person, and others have been that person towards me.
Rev David Rex Orgen