Sometimes it can be difficult to see or truly appreciate the battles that other face each day. Their battles might seem trivial or even comical, but they are still there. Whether it is:
- the toddler having a trantrum in the supermarket because they can’t have chocolate,
- the customer shouting at the member of staff for not getting the customer service they expect, or
- the artist not receiving the applause or awards they are convinced they have earned.
But there are many more battles that people face each day.
- the person going to a job that they hate but have no other choice,
- the couple that hate each other but can’t face splitting up,
- the person with a gambling / shopping / internet / gaming / masturbation / alcohol addiction, or
- the depression and loneliness that are now commonplace in modern society.
They are all forms of suffering in this life, that correspond to the Noble Truth of Suffering. The Four Noble Truths were taught by the Buddha Shakyamuni and this is the first of those four. These types of suffering can just an accepted part of modern life, and to point them out as being suffering can seem like failing o keep up with the demands of modern life.
The fact of the matter is that we are suffering but we are looking for happiness and taking solace in things that offer none. Buddha Shakyamuni is saying that suffering does not need to be a part of your life. Lama Zopa said that happiness is already right there, in the palm of your hand. These are described in the third and fourth of those Four Noble Truths, in the Noble Truth of Cessation of Suffering and the Noble Truth of the Path.