Age, itself, makes people suffer. Babies suffer from the effects of unhealthy and dangerous activities that are not always their own. Innocent fetuses may suffer due to maternal neglect while the babies are still in utero. Teens suffer from internal and external conflicts leading to depression and/or suicide. Then, of course, most people eventually suffer from the results of old age: all kinds of abuse, imaginary (Alzheimer's) or real, and losing valuable working parts that are vital to their existence. For instance, diabetics often risk losing one or both of their legs. Also, older people may feel like outcasts, and they suffer even more due to this, some in horrible isolation.
Death does not necessarily bring a cure to suffering. Because any death: that of a person, an animal, another creature or a beloved machine only brings more suffering to those left behind. The suffering of grief is a natural part of the process of acceptance, but a very painful reality none the less.
Now that I have discussed many troubled circumstances, I'm sure I need to support my view that we are normally whiny babies about what we perceive to be tragedies and terrible injustices in our personal lives. Most of us, my 58 year-old self included, have never suffered repeated, severe trouble or unbearable, constant pain. Although the activity is essentially harmless, we still spread our displeasure about small pains and discomforts to any and everyone who will listen.
We must try looking at the real world of painful, tragic existence. I know it is something we find distasteful and shocking, yet I think we agree: most of us are lucky to have the problems we normally face. We should give thanks for a measure of difficulty in our lives and thank God for letting us suffer the things we do.
In plain language, we must stop bitching so much about the trivia. We could have it much worse. And, what would it hurt for us to take compassion for the needy a step beyond recognition and simple pity. Many of these souls could benefit from a call to our own actions.
In the end, problems we overcome allow us to experience the richness of life and its accompanying joy. As Chuck Gallozzi points out, "Adversity adds spice to life and makes a wonderful teacher. A life without difficulties is a classroom without lessons." Remember the words of Bias, a sixth-century BC Greek sage who was considered one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece: "The greatest misfortune of all is not to be able to bear misfortune."
"Dr. Arthur Wentworth Hewitt suggested some reasons why the good suffer as well as the wicked: 'First: I don't know. Second: We may not be as innocent as we think. Third: . . . I believe it is because He loves us so much more than He loves our happiness. How so? Well, if on a basis of strict personal return here and now, all the good were always happy and all the bad suffered disaster (instead of often quite the reverse), this would be the most subtle damnation of character imaginable.'" James E. Faust, 2004.