The mind feels safe when presented with simple, everyday concepts. There’s probably a lot of entry level psychology behind that but let’s let it be and accept it as fact. (There, it’s working already, don’t you feel good?)
So, complicated things are best explained in analogy until the pathways are paved to freeway levels of delineating this is why ancient religious texts speak in parable. Something as ethereal and co,plaited as divinity or the human soul and how to care and feed it needs some concrete metaphor that the ignorant human mind can digest. Sure, I may say that I understand the concept of Kharma but flicking off someone on the highway or fantasizing about my friend’s wife doesn’t usually carry the immediate causative feedback as touching a hot iron kettle. So we start with the esoteric “Dharma” and immediately liken it to an eight-spoke wheel. Why? Because there are eight basic elements on the road to Enlightenment and we needed an unmistakable positive symbol (the most primitive icon of technology, the wheel) to associate it with. With the wheel comes progress and balance in it’s eight spokes. All good things… see, you’re on the road to nirvana already.
Hatreds never cease by hatreds in this world. By love alone they cease. This is an ancient Law.
To change the subject, let’s talk about suffering. Suffering, Buddha teaches is inherent of mortal life and unavoidable. One may only break free from the suffering of mortality through entry into Buddhahood, breaking the cycle of rebirth.
Leaving aside the belief in Buddhahood or rebirth, there is practical wisdom (read: easily digestible metaphor) in the way one approaches suffering. To be among men is suffering, for one is constantly confronted with their imperfections in everything from their character to the devices they design and build. Take for instance this bus I’m riding in. It gets me a long distance cheaply and more quickly than most means. However, due to the limitations of infrastructure it is built to seat someone seventy percent of my size, has poor circulation, is hot, shakes violently, etc. So the physical discomfort of this bus is one of many kinds of suffering my mind and body must endure. If I were extremely wealthy, I may have a helicopter or private limousine which is relatively much more acceptable to the human body. However in that meager improvement to my physical comfort I’d be alienated from my fellow man, the empathetic disadvantages are incalculable. This brings me, finally, to my point: which is that everyday suffering is a blessing for providing a culture foundation for strength of character. Focusing on the suffering is an opportunity to grow; a start towards deeper connections with people.
Notice how missionaries always speak of how kind and compassionate natives of remote and inhospitable environments are? They have been through so much suffering every day of their lives, they are truly grateful for the simplest elements of human life: water, food, shelter, health, and fraternity. Pity the isolated prince who knows not the suffering that surrounds him. This has been many men as it has been you and I. As it was also Siddhārtha, the Buddha.