How can you be happy when there's so much suffering in the world?

will's picture

This is a question we get asked every now and again, and it begs another question: Does sadness or pity do anything to relieve another's suffering? I see a whole lot of people who behave like it does, yet I also see a world that's filled with people suffering. Does being sad yourself really help at all, or does it just contribute more sadness to the world?

You've probably heard the expression "misery loves company", which means that suffering people are usually quite eager to spread their suffering to others. If this provides any relief, I suspect it's only because the mind gets what it wants. The mind gets validation for it's suffering by spreading it to another, which doesn't really relieve the suffering at all, it strengthens the patterns of suffering.

If you want to help bring another out of their suffering, one of the first things to realize is that it's not your choice to make. You cannot make the decision to let go of misery for another, the choice is ultimately up to them. If they don't want to let go, you can't make them, and trying to do so is very likely to just create frustration and suffering within yourself. Trying to force another to do something is controlling them, and that's probably not going to end well.

What you can do is offer your love and support. You can observe suffering within another without taking it on yourself.  This is one of the tricks to being a happy empath, feeling what's in another without taking it on yourself. You can be a source of positive energy in someone else's life, someone there to help lift them out of their suffering. This is far more helpful than taking on the suffering yourself, which would just add more suffering to a world that already has far more than it needs.


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