SUMMARY: Why does it seem so many of us prefer to suffer, rather than do what seems obvious to others will bring about an end to our particular suffering? Perhaps one reason is that we fear the unknown. Perhaps another reason is that it is generally difficult to understand what would be better than our current circumstances if we are unfamiliar with what would be better.
(About a 3 minute read)
“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
I think many of us — especially when we’re young — now and then come across someone we believe we can save. That is, someone who is recognizably messed up, but not so messed up that we deem them beyond “straightening out”.
Sadly, you cannot save, you cannot straighten out, someone. They have to do it themselves. The most you yourself can provide is encouragement and — if you’re lucky — wise guidance. But how many of us understand that about people before we ourselves have tried — often more than once or twice — to save someone?
I know that was a hard lesson for me to learn. One of the hardest parts of it was to grasp that so many of us prefer the misery we know to the happiness we don’t know.