Tag Archives: philosophy

No answer to suffering

I thought I’d ask the age old question: Why do we suffer?

This question came to me tonight after talking with a friend who’s recently lost his mother to cancer, who’s father is a survivor of cancer, and whose uncle is slowly dying from cancer as well.  They were all healthy, good people.

My friend is struggling for meaning in his life, for hope, for the energy to cope with the pain that’s been unceasing the past few years.  He simply cannot comprehend why this tragedy has struck his family, and it’s lead to his declaration of atheism and his overall indifference toward the joys of life.

My friend is a good man, in no way deserving of this pain, of these hopeless circumstances.

People have struggled with the problem of suffering for thousands of years.  Hindus credit it to bad past lives, to Christians it’s the ultimate mystery.  If God is so great, why is there so much pain? So much doubt? So much terribleness?

I, for one, have no idea, and will never claim to have the answer. It’s plaguing me this evening though, and I wish I had something better to say to comfort my friend.

I know that one should treasure life and live each day to the fullest, yada yada yada, but that’s not good enough. Not when so many people feel their mortality approaching faster with every breath.

Why is there so much pain? Why are entire families wiped out by this silent, painful killer?

How can one remain hopeful when so much despair looms in every facet of their life? How can one confront and challenge such despair?

All I know to do is, hold on. Hold on and surround yourself with goodness. And breath.

We don’t know why life can be so egregious, but I do know that if we still have breath, we should savor it, take it in deeply, and feel it.

Hold on.

A line from a script I read in theatre camp went something like this,

“Life is like a swing. It goes up, down, back, forth. We can just hold on and wait for life to swing back up, that there will always be highs and lows and they are in constant flux.  Hold on to the swing.  Hold on. ”  

 

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A loose introduction to my plan for this page…

Throughout my college career, I have delved into a plethora of different topics and issues concerning life around the globe.  From Islamic philosophy to narrative film, to the economics of crime and the relationship between illness and language, I’ve had a taste of just about every subject over the past four years.  And while I certainly feel enriched and decently well-read, I feel a certain component has been lacking to my education. Where is all the discussion?  The sharing of ideas, visions, and passionate declarations between my peers and I, or even the community at large, is almost entirely absent.  Most of my classes claim to be participation friendly where we are rewarded for speaking, however many comments or questions are lacking a sort of zeal or curiosity.  There are exceptions of course where students have spoken up and showed enthusiasm, however I regret to say that these instances are all too infrequent.  On a college campus of all places, aren’t students supposed to be getting fired up about serious issues? Should we not share our perspectives and ask meaningful questions?  Are we lacking mindfulness and passion regarding such important issues of war and food shortage?  Or are we just too intimidated, embarrassed, or indifferent to initiate a dialogue on topics that interest us?  Either way, I believe that our silent classrooms pose a threat not only to our education but the overall awareness and progress of our generation.  With all of the violence, war, famine, poverty, and corruption(the list is endless), I would have hoped to hear my friends and fellow students discuss these matters from time to time. If the classroom is not the right place to question the consequential state of affairs occurring across our planet, than what is?

I am not saying that students at my university are a bunch of moronic zombies by any means, however I do wish that my peers would speak up more often and engage a bit.  As a very passionate and curious individual, I yearn for discussion, as I love to hear different ideas and perspectives.  I want to know what others think! I want to hear how different people examine different issues.

One of my intentions for this blog is to hear what others have to say regarding topics I present here.  Some subjects may concern organic farming, bombing, socialism in contemporary society, or even questions regarding the quality of the education we believe we’re gaining from public university.  I want to discuss issues that we don’t always bring to light in our classrooms, but issues that are increasingly important for our generation to consider. I hope to present questions or topics that unearth them selves to me over the coming weeks and perhaps gain some feedback from my readers.  Feel free to read without commenting, but comments are more than welcome! Thank you for taking the time to read and I hope we can learn something from each other.

What do you think about this?  Are students more indifferent these days or are we just scared to speak up?

(ANY feedback appreciated. For example, if this is a terrible idea for a blog, PLEASE tell me so and I’ll switch it up).

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