Sunday, December 13, 2009

Do I know what suffering is?

A bit.

I've seen a lot of people suffering around me, they lack three meals a day, a roof, independence, a decent education and dreams. Things that are precious and vitally important for me. But for me, they are a given, and therefore I can take them for granted.
I have seen a lot of suffering from afar. And some up close. Very close.

But yes, I've only seen it around me.

A very tiny bit.

Personally, I have just had my 2 months of deprivation of excesses, when I was a poor graduate student who wasn't funded*. This, is not even suffering.


I know nothing about what suffering is.

Some will say. And I will agree sometimes.

But at other times I can't help but ask myself some questions and lean towards disagreement. Does one have to experience something to know what it is? What is empathy all about then? Can I not feel what another human feels, when I keep my eyes open and my emotions alive?

Yet another question for which I have no answer.

* I had to write this down to show that tremendous difference that I see between the experiences. Even though, placing this in a post about suffering could in itself be construed as an insult to every person who has ever endured the kinds of things I can only start to mention, it is not intended to be so.