A Chinese poet once wrote, “How much suffering can one bear? It is as much as the spring river flowing to the East.” The sadness and frustrations in life can be really harmful to our well being. When we look at society and its citizens it seems that everyone is trapped in unhappiness. When one’s mind is depressed, it seems to be possessed with evil spirits from which there is no release.
Some people are saddened by war and death or with the memory of loved ones gone. Then some are depressed because of broken families, loss of job, or failure in school. All in all, when there is no hope or satisfaction in life, when we feel short-changed or even bullied, and when we cannot share it with anyone, we suffer in many ways.
We can easily see how many people suffer because of their moodiness. Some cannot sleep at night because of gossip by others. A simple matter may bring endless misery and discomforts. A few unintentional hurtful or inconsiderate words may trigger loss of appetite and moodiness. The precious time in life is, thus, lost amidst sadness and frustrations. It is truly regrettable!
Another Chinese poet also wrote, “Even the largest boat in the world cannot carry all the woes.” It is an illustration of life’s unhappiness. In reality, a lot of people are simply getting upset over nothing. Most of the time, they are causing their own sadness or frustrations. Ch’an Buddhism teaches, “There is nothing to bind you, it is you binding yourself!” Nobody is imposing suffering on us. We just bring it on ourselves!
We can use wisdom and reasoning to ease our sorrows or unhappiness. The best way to do it is through religion. The following are some of the ways to reduce our unhappiness:
- Be optimistic or hopeful
- Apply reason in dealing with all people, things, situations, and matters
- Learn to control our mood
- Not be suspicious; instead, trust others
- Actively serve and help others
- Face life openly and honestly
“How much suffering can one bear? It is as much as the spring river flowing to the East.” However, as long as we can be open-minded and let go of our attachments, the sadness in life can easily become the source of our enlightenment.