By Muiz Ud Din
“Why Do We Suffer”? This question remained stuck in my mind for a long time. I explored an answer by reading books and talking to people, but couldn’t find an answer.
Then I saw a woman under the open sky, cooking a meal for her four young children. Sweeping sweat from her forehead, the woman was impatiently looking at the boiling pot. The children seemed exhausted. The mother appeared to be exhausted by the journey of life. I heaved a sigh of grief, and moved on.
Later I encountered a teary-eyed boy. I sat next to him and asked him the reason of sadness. He looked at me and replied, “I had a girlfriend. Yesterday, after waiting for four years, when I proposed her for marriage, she said that I was too late to propose her. I wish I had told her at the first sight. She left me alone.” I tapped his shoulders, wished him better luck and moved on.
My journey grew unexpectedly interesting when I found another boy of the same age, crying. On asking the reason he answered. “I had a friend. When I proposed her she said, ‘how could you think that way this quickly? We were just friends’. She left me alone.” This time I was speechless, but, slowly, very slowly, I found myself moving towards the answer.
Further on my journey I found rich kids with fancy dressing surrounded by luxurious food and cars. Unlikely, they seemed to be interested in the poor kids playing in the streets who were laughing and running freely. But the rich kids couldn’t play with them because their perceived social rank was higher; they were rich people and rich people couldn’t play with poor people. So they kept looking at the kids in the streets, feeling imprisoned; feeling lonely. On contrary, the poor kids envied the life of the kids living in the bungalows. They wished if they too could be rich enough to buy fancy clothes, to sit in the cars which didn’t belong to them and to visit the parks as they did. I smiled and went on with a new insight about life, about suffering; about everything.
Furthermore, I met parents suffering for they had no kids. Some suffered for they had lot of kids. People suffered because they had families to be fed. Others suffered because they had no families. Many suffered because they waited so long for someone and some suffered because they hurled the process. Most were rich so they found their lives insecure, restricted themselves and suffered because of their wealth. Poor people suffered for food and shelter. Some suffered because they were studying in and many because they were not studying. People suffered death and they suffered life. They suffered goodness and they suffered badness. They suffered the truth and they suffered the lies. People suffered because they loved and they suffered because they hated.
After seeing all these scenarios my mind stayed still. It no more asked me the question, rather it gave me the answer. It told me that we suffer because we think that others’ lives are better than ours. We think that we have no value whatsoever, we always want to be good. We always want ease from life that’s why we suffer. Life is not easy, it is rather tragic and interesting. We want things to happen the way we want. That is not possible. Life is the way it is. If we are not satisfied with what we have, we will always be crying for what we don’t have. We keep crying for things that don’t belong to us. We keep crying for things we lost in the past. We don’t stay where we are, with whom we are and with what we have. We don’t love people who love us. We don’t smile in hurdles. We are envious, possessive and greedy. We want everything good for ourselves. Everything is about ‘I’ and ‘myself’. That’s why we suffer.
I listened to the answer my mind gave me and remained speechless. But, deep inside, somewhere within my soul, a sense of gratefulness took birth. And that gratefulness was the only way to end this never ending suffering, nothing else. Being grateful for what you have is the only way to a satisfied live, only way to end the suffering. There and then I smiled, faintly but I did; that little curve on my face gave me a hint that I got the answer.